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Review calls for bosses to be ambitious

Friday 9 November 2012 5:43

Ambitious businesses with the ability to “think big” when plotting out their future have been urged to play their part in a major strategic review that could shape the North East economy for years to come.

A high profile team of finance, industry, public and civil society leaders is currently in the throes of putting together a strategic, constructively critical review of the regional economy on behalf of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP).

The review, which will publish its findings next spring, aims to target employment and productivity growth in the period to 2030 and will set out a number measures aimed to transform the North East economy.

Chaired by Lord Adonis, other big hitters on the team include Heidi Mottram, CEO of Northumbrian Water, Lord Don Curry, leading businessman and chair of NFU Mutual, Bridget Rosewell, economist and chair of Volterra Partners and the Right Reverend Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham.

However, with the review now reaching an advanced stage, NELEP chief executive Edward Twiddy has prompted more businesses to play their part in influencing its findings – but only those that are able to look at the bigger picture.

He told BQ: “We need businesses to be ambitious. We are not trying to fix all the issues that can be fixed locally, we are looking at the issues that can secure our future.

“The world will be very different in the future. Our workforce will be older, connectivity will be increasingly important and who knows what the next technological breakthrough will be? We must also be thinking about the capacity of our energy markets.”

Rather than focusing on the universal day-to-day gripes of businesses, such as sluggish planning applications or unfavourable banking arrangements, the review is keen to learn more on issues which are hindering fast-paced growth in the region.

“It’s about thinking ahead and working out what constrains businesses now and which business models are working.

“The aim is to focus on what businesses need and what industry requires to thrive and expand in the North East.”

Evidence gathered by the economic review team will be submitted by the turn of the year and a succinct report will follow in spring 2013 setting out five policy recommendations each for the NELEP, its partners in the North East and Central Government.

Businesses wishing to get involved in the review are asked in the first instance to email