County Durham and Newcastle will join forces to fly the flag for the North East at a forthcoming trade conference attended by major developers and investors.

Representatives from Durham County Council and Invest Newcastle will exhibit at the UK Real Estate & Infrastructure Investment Forum (UKREiiF), which takes place in Leeds in May.

More than 10,000 key players, influencers and decision-makers from the UK and international real estate and infrastructure markets are expected to attend.

Durham County Council will be using UKREiiF to launch hundreds of millions of pounds worth of live investment opportunities, both public and private, in the shape of its Investment Framework pitchbook.

Among them are NETPark, one of the UK’s premier science parks and home to three national innovation centres and a growing number of science, engineering and technology companies, and Aykley Heads Business Park in the new Durham Innovation District, which jointly form part of County Durham’s thriving innovation corridor.

NETPark is currently undergoing a £62million expansion that will see it double in size and has recently been designated a ‘Growth Site’ within the North East Investment Zone, meaning businesses will be given priority access to co-investment funding.

Its focus sectors include space and satellites, advanced materials and manufacturing, nanotechnology, x-ray technology, semiconductors, defence, electronics, photonics, robotics, and pharmaceutical.

The Durham Innovation District will see the council partner with the world-class Durham University and will be powered by a ‘triple helix’ model of public, private and education sectors working together.

Invest Newcastle’s representatives will be exhibiting projects including Forth Yards, a Health Innovation Neighbourhood, and City Gateway East.

Forth Yards is a 51-acre brownfield site on the western edge of the city centre and one of the most exciting development opportunities in the UK. Development of Forth Yards is being made possible by collaboration between public sector partners including Newcastle City Council, Homes England, North of Tyne Combined Authority, and Network Rail.

The proposed Health Innovation Neighbourhood development with Newcastle University combines research facilities with accommodation for later living and students on the old general hospital site off the West Road in Newcastle. And City Gateway East – Northumbria University’s city centre campus – is the site in on which the Centre for Health and Social Equity, and North East Space Skills and Technology Centre will be built.

Representatives from key partners, including universities, will also be present at the event to make the case for investment in the region.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are delighted to be using UKREiiF as the launchpad for our Investment Framework, which clearly articulates our world-class investment opportunities, partnerships and place.

“The size, scale and diversity of our economy, along with the benefits of the recently agreed North East devolution deal, combine to give us a truly unique offer, and we look forward to meeting investors and developers to showcase the array of projects we currently have in the pipeline.”

Cllr Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, added: “There are a number of exciting investment opportunities in Newcastle and the wider region and we’re eager to work with partners to bring them to life. We now have a multi-billion-pound devolution deal secured in law, and UKREiiF presents a timely opportunity to showcase the vast potential of the North East.

“We will be working with colleagues from Durham County Council to collaborate on a shared programme of events promoting the full breadth of opportunities available.”

The North East Investment Zone is backed by £160million of government funding and aims to attract at least £3billion of private sector investment and create more than 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

It forms part of the region’s £4.2billion devolution deal, which will see a historic transfer of powers and funding from Westminster to the North East, and the election of a new Mayor for the North East Combined Authority on Thursday 2 May.

For more information about investment opportunities within the North East region, visit Powering County Durham and Invest Newcastle.