June 24, 2016 @ 10:43 by Alison Cowie
Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:
“Last night the people of the North East clearly voted to leave the European Union (EU).
“The North East LEP is committed to improving the economic success of the North East irrespective of the political landscape. We are very aware of the many ways in which this region has benefited from being a member of the EU.
“This has included access to European trade and investment and European funding, which has helped to regenerate our towns and cities, support business growth and investment in science and support many of our rural stakeholders including farmers.
“We will be seeking assurances from the Government that it will help us reduce the impact of leaving the single market in terms of funding, jobs and investment.
“The North East is the only UK region with a positive balance of trade. Working with our public and private sector partners our focus must be on maintaining this status quo and supporting those who will be most affected by the decision to leave.
“We have a very clear Strategic Economic Plan. It is now more important than ever that our entire community commits to increasing its skills base and creating more businesses, whilst taking more local control of our choices by supporting regional devolution.”