Successive Governments have committed themselves to closing the economic performance gap between UK regions, yet progress remains very limited.
This is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. Our members are tired of policy initiatives that deliver little in the way of material change. We need a Government that recognises the huge untapped potential that exists in our region and equips us with the tools to unlock it.
Devolution to Tees Valley and the North of Tyne authorities is a good start, but this must be seen as the first step on a longer journey towards greater freedom and autonomy to shape our regional economic growth.
We want a region that is bold in its vision, realistic about its challenges and strident about its needs. Above all, North East England must develop an influential voice that is heard in the conversations that really matter.
To build a more Influential North East in 2018, we need:
- Significant action and investment by Government to support North East England’s role within the Northern Powerhouse;
- Business and local authorities to build a clear and consistent set of investment priorities to be presented to Government;
- Politicians and other leaders in the North East to work together and consistently send a positive message about our region’s assets and economic future.