Newcastle – We’ve officially arrived!

Earlier this month, Johnston Carmichael welcomed over 80 contacts and clients to Full Circle Brewery to toast our Newcastle office and growing presence in the region. The event marked our official launch into the North East of England market and guests were welcomed by Partner and Head of the Newcastle office, Paul Shields.

The full Newcastle team were in attendance, including Michael Sanderson, Lais DeMedeiros – Faria, and Holly Towns, who all started with the company in March. This emphasises the scale of growth and expertise to the local market. A perfectly pitched event in a unique venue, it was the ideal way to showcase what makes Johnston Carmichael stand out in the market – ‘our quality and scale, and our focus on forging meaningful relationships.’ The team look forward to continued growth and expanding relationships further across the region.


Budget reflection from Johnston Carmichael – 2024

Find out more about what our team of experts said about the March Budget –

North East Combined Authority

The 2024 budget also contained provisions for enhanced funding for the new devolved North East Combined Authority which is being established from May 2024. A deal was agreed in 2022 where £1.4bn is to be invested in the area over a 30-year period. It was announced that additional funds of up to £100m is available.

This second ‘deeper’ devolution deal gives local leaders new tools to drive growth and deliver for their communities. The region will receive £37m of flexible funding for the remediation of brownfield sites and acceleration of regional projects. Subject to a business case, NEMCA intends to use £25m of this funding to remediate the prospective Crown Works Studios site, laying the ground for development of the studio facilities, £10m to accelerate plans for a Health Innovation Neighbourhood, combining research and living facilities to promote healthy ageing, in Newcastle, and £2m to support projects such as the North East Green Superport and the inclusive innovation deal, catalysing collaboration across the region.

Alongside this, government will work towards the designation of a specific ‘growth zone’, in which North East local authorities will be able to retain 100% of business rates growth for the next 25 years. Subject to business case, NEMCA plans to designate the prospective Crown Works Studios site as a ‘growth zone’. This will enable 100% of business rates growth to be reinvested in the development of the site and project. This combination of capital funding and business rates retention will get the development off the ground in the short-term and ensure NEMCA and Sunderland City Council can continue to support the project in the long-term.

This has unlocked a £450m investment from FulwellCain, a joint venture between Fulwell 73 and Cain International and backed by Sunderland City Council, to build Crown Works Studios (CWS), which will be one of the largest in Europe and will create over 8,000 jobs in the region.

The legislation implementing the devolution deal signed in 2022 will establish the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority on 7 May 2024. The new Mayor for the North East will take up post on the same day following the inaugural mayoral election on 2 May 2024. This will also give control to the region of over half a billion pounds to upgrade public transport through a new City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement and provide immediate support to build new affordable homes on brownfield sites.

But this newer, deeper deal will additionally help to build on long-standing sector strengths in green technology and advanced manufacturing, through government support for the Green Superport, bringing together the ports of Newcastle, Blyth and Sunderland, and prepare the ground for emerging strengths in creative industries and health innovation, via new developments on the Sunderland Riverside and a health innovation neighbourhood in Newcastle.

This devolution deal is part of a plan to bring long-term change, delivering a brighter future for Britain and the North East of England, improving economic security and opportunity for everyone whilst building on our existing levelling up interventions in the region, including the £20m awarded to Newcastle upon Tyne for the restoration of the historic Grainger Market and public realm improvements.