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CBI backs calls for regional support

Thursday 17 January 2013 20:00

Business lobbying group the CBI has backed calls from the newly-formed Cabinet of Core Cities for the Government to do more to stimulate growth in the regions.

The new group, made up of the leaders of the eight largest cities outside the South East, has written to the Prime Minister urging the Government to focus on rebalancing the economy and maximising the economic potential of the UK’s big cities.

Sarah Green, director of CBI North East, said: “Business will welcome any move which will encourage government to seek growth from the whole of the UK economy. A return to strong, sustainable growth can only come from a rebalancing of the economy away from an over-reliance on London and the South East and it will be our major cities which will drive this.

“The government has shown its commitment to boosting regional growth through the expansion of City Deals and increasing the powers of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the Autumn Budget Statement, but the Cabinet of Core Cities is right to say that we need to go further to kick start growth.

“Our core cities – including Newcastle - need a strong, united voice to argue the case in Westminster. However, it is extremely important that the Cabinet of Core Cities works closely with existing bodies – in particular the Local Enterprise Partnerships - because businesses want to see a simplification of the existing regional governance arrangements, not something that further complicates the picture.

“Any new initiatives designed to stimulate economic growth in the regions should apply across Local Enterprise Partnership areas, which businesses now accept as the established economic development boundaries for the North East.”