What is needed?
The increase in flexible working has reinforced the importance of digital infrastructure. Everyone in our region must be able to rely on quality digital connectivity, with businesses able to invest in new technology and upskilling staff which will help to increase productivity.
The North East has a high proportion of people without access to cars and who cannot work from home. To ensure a fair recovery we need the right connections in place so that everyone can access education and job opportunities. Connectivity is also crucial to making our town and city centres attractive and easily accessible through more sustainable modes of transport.
As growth returns, our global links through regional ports and airports will need to be supported to achieve our international trade ambitions.
Our businesses have the talent and desire to play a huge rule in achieving the UK’s net zero targets. Investment to build on the region’s green infrastructure including in sustainable transport and the energy sector is needed to capitalise on this potential and to create new, highly skilled, jobs.
The North East needs:
- Urgent investment in comprehensive, high-quality digital infrastructure
- More reliable, integrated, and resilient public transport links
- Specific support for the region’s ports and airports, maintaining our international links which will be essential for international trade
- An energy strategy that sets out how the UK will achieve its 2050 targets and supports the growth of the energy sector in the region
- Investment across the road and rail network in the region to enable better local and national connections
Our commitment: digitising North East business
Businesses and employees across the region adapted incredibly quickly to the restrictions placed on them due to the pandemic. Many of those who were able to move to full homeworking have seen improvements in productivity and have committed to making longer-term changes to their working practices.
However, many businesses made this transition on the back of inadequate systems and infrastructure, while low levels of digital skills have been exposed as a result of employees working more independently. Of course, for many businesses working from home is simply an impossibility.
We want to ensure that businesses in our region can learn from this unforeseen experiment. The Chamber will work with partners and experts to share best practice, champion investment in digital skills and help to position the North East as a leader in modern, flexible working.
“Improvements to the North East’s transport, digital and energy infrastructure is critical to enable the region to contribute to the UK’s economic recovery. Investment in infrastructure is essential as part of the levelling up agenda, in creating a green recovery and in maintaining our international links in a post-Brexit landscape.”
Kevin Bell, Partner – Womble Bond Dickinson
Get involved in our Stronger North East campaign by emailing [email protected]
Campaigning for a Stronger North East
Our mission is not just to repair the damage done to our economy in recent months. It is to come back stronger. We must correct historic unfairness, tackle inequalities and show the world what we are capable of. North East England is a fantastic, unique place with enormous economic potential. Through collective endeavour, and with the right support, we know that potential is within our reach.
To get involved in our Stronger North East campaign, email [email protected]
Dynamic North East
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Global North East
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