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City on the move

Thursday 22 November 2012 5:00

Despite the tough current climate, a new and seemingly influential report has labelled Newcastle an economic supercity.

Newcastle is a ‘supercity’ which creates an economic environment that supports the business leaders of tomorrow, according to an influential report published by HSBC.

The Growing British Business report commissioned by the commercial banking arm of HSBC is a detailed online survey of some 500 businesses, plus expert interviews with business leaders across the UK and desk-based research.

HSBC’s 2011 Future of Business report has already classed Newcastle one of seven UK 'supercities' (amongst Leeds, Liverpool, London, Bristol, Brighton, and Glasgow).

The bank’s recent report now defines Newcastle as an “upwardly mobile city” that fosters an environment where ‘business growth pioneers’ can develop.

These are defined as a new breed of business leaders looking for opportunities to prosper and expand in tough economic times through investing in growth, driving the UK’s export-led recovery and collaborating for success.

The report states that in Newcastle there are “inspiring collaborations between industry, academia and government, creating dynamic clusters of specialist innovation and creativity that have a positive catalyst effect regionally, nationally, and even globally.”

The report is clearly welcomed by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) – the organisation charged with selling Tyneside to the world.

The agency’s inward investment director, Catherine Walker, says: “It is fabulous for Newcastle to be recognised as a regional force and major contributor to economic growth for the region and the UK, earning our place alongside other powerhouses such as London, Liverpool and Glasgow.

“Our focus on attracting new investment from the high growth, knowledge-led sectors of low carbon industries, energy, digital and life sciences will help to ensure our position is further strengthened and will put NewcastleGateshead firmly on the international stage.”

Newcastle’s nurturing of these new future ‘business pioneers’ is based on three key factors, according to the report:

  • Its status as a leading Science City, producing world-class scientific research
  • Its clusters of outward-looking manufacturing companies, driving exports to emerging economies, targeting China, Russia and Brazil in particular.
  • Its increase in exports of specialised machinery, cars and power-generating machinery (as pinpointed by UK Trade and Investment).

Steve Box, HSBC head of trade and receivables finance, UK, says: "This report reveals the hidden successes we are seeing on a daily basis; British businesses getting on and growing despite the economic downturn.

“These inspirational business leaders hold the key to trading the country out of recession and are using smarter finance solutions and innovative thinking to strengthen both their position and that of the future UK economy."