Pledge Promotes Prosperity
Over 150 businesses have signed up to the South Tyneside Pledge since it launched 12 months ago.
Pledgees range from large organisations such as the Council, NHS Foundation Trust, Tyne Coast College, Port of Tyne, and Hitachi and Equinor through to key local firms and voluntary organisations like Dicksons, Shower Pass UK, Wealth of Advice, HTG, HLA Services, and Hebburn and South Shields Football Clubs.
The Pledge aims to boost local economic activity, reduce health inequalities, cut carbon emissions, and enhance civic pride for the benefit of the whole Borough.
Launched in January 2022 the pledge sets out nine commitments around spend, recruitment and support. It encourages South Tyneside organisations to focus on local activities and practical steps such as local procurement and recruitment, which can help the borough to thrive.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of South Tyneside Partnership said: "We have had a fantastic response to the South Tyneside Pledge since we launched it last New Year and over 150 organisations are signed up now.
"South Tyneside is known for its sense of community and civic pride and its business community is no different. The Pledge has encouraged organisations to look at their own practices and see what more they can do to support the borough. As individual organisations we can only do so much, but collectively, with a common set of objectives, we can make a real difference.
"Be it Cell Pack engaging with local schools, Northern Rights taking on young people, Tyne Coast College working with local employers, Turtons fundraising for Hospitality & Hope, Far North banging the drum for micro businesses across the borough, Goldfinch encouraging staff and others to make use of our fabulous beaches and green spaces, Torgensens working with local suppliers or Glendale buying local trees - the list goes on and on.
"By signing the Pledge, organisations, big or small are saying that they will do all they can to spend, recruit and support our local area and bring about positive change to help us meet our 20-year vision ambitions."
Other ways organisations are demonstrating their commitment to the pledge and making a local impact include:
- Organisations exploring signing up to the Better Health and Work Award.
- Four businesses securing new or bigger premises within the borough.
- Organisations signing up and taking part in jobs fairs in the borough.
- Organisations taking on apprentices or hosting work placements.
- Organisations changing corporate social responsibilities focus to prioritise volunteering within the borough, including supporting warm spaces.
The Council will be surveying pledgees in 2023 to undertake a full economic assessment of the impact of the South Tyneside Pledge.
Alan Metcalfe, Commercial Director at Zenith People said: "It's a great initiative by the council and for me going back a number of years it resonated with me that we weren't buying as much as we should be from the borough. I think with the pledge it has focused the minds of myself and some of the employees that work for Zenith, and we now buy 95% of all of our goods and services from within the borough. Additionally, our business can also help support those businesses in the borough by moving young people into the right careers for them."
Andrew Watts, Chief Executive at Groundwork South, and North Tyneside said: "We've been in South Tyneside for 31 years, we are part of the community so signing the pledge was an easy one for us as an organisation. We set out with a principle of growing our own and investing in the people of South Tyneside and with that we've gone from zero apprentices to six in a year, so we are really committed with every vacancy that comes up we explore to see if we can 'grow our own', we are really committed to supporting our young people."
Carl Buckley, Managing Director at Urban River Creative said: "We signed at a very early stage, we've been asked to be part of similar programmes that never got off the ground, but the Pledge is different. "There's no excuse not to have every business in South Tyneside signed up. Just do it! Don't sign it as a box ticking exercise though, sign it on the basis that you are going to do something about it no matter how big or how small. It's a numbers game - the more businesses we get do their bit will make it snowball."
Organisations, public and private, big, and small, can sign up at any time and become part of the Pledge South Tyneside network at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/southtynesidepledge
A Business Talk about the South Tyneside Pledge featuring Jonathan Tew, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council will take place on Thursday 19 January at One Trinity Green. Featuring a panel from local Pledge organisations the Business Talk will be live-streamed across the Invest South Tyneside website and social media channels from 5.30pm - 6.30pm. Places are available to be part of the live audience, which can be booked at https://investsouthtyneside.com/event/business-talk-south-tyneside-pledge/