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North East business community comes together to discuss local industrial strategy

Leaders from the North East business community and economic partners met this week to have their say on the development of the region’s local industrial strategy.

At the North East local industrial strategy summit, coordinated by the North East LEP, plans were set out to explain how the region and Government can work together to deliver increased productivity and living standards across the North East.

Speaking at the event, Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East LEP, said: “The North East has been selected by Government as one of six areas to be the first to develop local industrial strategies.

“The North East’s strategy will be ambitious and outward-looking, demonstrating how we will use our strengths as a region to increase productivity and improve the earning power and quality of life for people who live here.”

The local industrial strategy (LIS) for the North East will complement the UK’s overarching strategy, which aims to boost productivity and use investment in skills, industry and infrastructure to create jobs and increase earning power of people across the country.

At the summit, business leaders took parts in a series of discussions around the key issues, contributing their ideas to the development of the strategy.

Andrew Hodgson added: “At today’s summit we presented the evidence and research that will form the basis of our LIS and we heard from some of the partners who are helping to inform its development.

“This strategy is an opportunity to demonstrate how the North East can capitalise on opportunities and really make its mark on the world, and it’s important that the business community has a say on its development.

“That’s why it was so encouraging to see so many people, who will be vital in making this vision a reality, actively involved in the event today.”

Speakers at the summit included Ariel C Armony PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA, who shared lessons from the Pittsburgh region’s delivery of increased productivity; Joaquim Oliveira Martins from the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, who discussed how all regions can benefit from increases in jobs and productivity; Tony Danker from Be The Business, who talked about the UK campaign for productivity and competitiveness; Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Combined Authority; and Councillor Iain Malcolm, chair of the North East Combined Authority and leader of South Tyneside Council.