June 24, 2020 @ 13:44 by Chloe Holmes
Invest North East England has ensured it is well placed to support the region’s economic recovery during the coronavirus pandemic with the appointment of new inward investment manager, Rachel Burdis.
Former Tech Sector Lead for Gateshead Council, Rachel will use her in depth knowledge of the digital and tech sectors to encourage businesses to base themselves in the region and help create more and better jobs for the North East.
Guy Currey, Director at Invest North East England, said: “Whilst many businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, others – particularly those with a focus on tech, digital and innovation – have found their services to be in great demand.
“Here in the North East, many of our region’s businesses have been developing products and solutions that will help the UK economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and that has attracted the eye of investors.
“Businesses want to tap into the talent and expertise in our region, and this is why Rachel’s appointment comes at a crucial time for us. Inward Investment is one of the ways our regional economy will recover, and start to get back to pre-coronavirus levels.”
North East England’s digital sector is one of the fastest growing in the country, and boasts strengths in gaming, immersive technology and software. The health and life sciences cluster in the region is widely recognised as one of the best in the world thanks to key assets like Newcastle Helix, Durham’s NETPark, the International Centre for Life, and the region’s excellent universities.
With considerable experience working in the region’s digital and innovation sectors, Rachel has worked on major projects including the creation of a new immersive incubation hub to support tech startup businesses, and she also set up NOVA – the official Games Network for Gateshead and the North East of England.
As Head of Digital Union, Rachel helped create the One Region, One Sector, One Statement publication that is used by Invest North East England, and others, to help promote the region to potential investors.
Rachel said: “A key part of what we’re doing right now is looking at how businesses are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Some are less affected than others, meaning there are still significant opportunities for us to bring businesses to our region.
“Managing risk will be high on the agenda for investors, and that makes North East England a very attractive destination. With low attrition and cost base, access to a skilled labour market and high quality of life, the North East has a huge amount to offer.
“We expect trends like near-shoring and north-shoring to continue as companies look to reduce costs by bringing supply chains closer to their core activities, and move operations away from London and the South East.
“2020 and beyond will be a challenging time for the business community, but North East England’s assets, including its workforce, talent and skills, will ensure we continue to attract companies that want to invest and do business here.”