Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

NECC release report into regional growth

The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) will today release a report detailing the measures needed to put the North East at the forefront of the economic recovery.

The NECC compiled the “Fit for the Future” report in conjunction with a cross-section of the local business community, and singles out infrastructure as a priority area to build on the regions exporting strengths.

The North East is the only area of the country with a positive trade balance in the export, and James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the NECC sees this as an example of what the UK as a whole is trying to achieve.

He commented: “Fit for the Future is not a begging letter, it is a business proposal. This is our pitch as a region to say look at what we are achieving with the least infrastructure investment in the entire country – give us the tools we require and let us show you how much more we could be doing for the economy.

“The region has the capacity to take the strain from congested and expensive parts of the UK.

“We are blessed with an embarrassment of riches in terms of resources, transport links, digital and energy infrastructure, but we must find a way to maximise our undoubted potential.”

Mr Ramsbotham was also keen to stress that the region has the capacity to accommodate a vibrant private sector, as well as the space and indigenous resources to nurture sustainable growth.

The report focuses on four main areas - resources, infrastructure, transport infrastructure, digital infrastructure and energy infrastructure - all of which will be an excellent source of growth and jobs.

He also emphasised the need for the development of relationships between the public and private sectors.

Mr Ramsbotham continued: “The private sector, the generators of wealth and jobs, must increase collaboration with and influence over decision making at the local level to ensure that limited investment is directed to the schemes that have the greatest economic rather than political merit,” he said.

“Local Enterprise Partnerships play a crucial role in ensuring that certain assets are given the recognition and protection that they deserve owing to their important economic role.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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