Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Vibrant Region and a Dynamic Economy; in Association with Ward Hadaway

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Vibrant Region and a Dynamic Economy; in Association with Ward Hadaway

Article excerpt

Byline: By Margaret Fay, chairman of regional development agency One North East

IT HAS been a fantastic year for businesses in North-East England and The Journal Fastest 50 makes encouraging reading, demonstrating as it does the number of growing companies in the region.

There has been a host of real successes during the past 12 months, from Nissan's Sunderland factory recruiting 200 people to produce the new Qashqai model, to the expansion of mechanical engineering firms the Tanfield Group and Tyne and Wear Pallets.

I'm delighted to say One North East has been actively involved with all these firms, along with a number of others, which all helps to boost the regional economy.

Firms such as M.K.W. Engineering, Metal Spinners Group and Miller UK - all of which appear in this year's Fastest 50 - have received assistance from the agency's North-East Productivity Alliance (NEPA), a programme which continues to deliver bottom-line benefits to a range of firms across the region.

Aimed at boosting skills, productivity and competitiveness, the industry-led programme places world class engineers, hand-picked from regional firms, into North-East businesses. Immediate benefits include reducing costs and training selected staff - so-called 'change agents' - to spread and maintain NEPA best practice techniques after the engineers leave.

Another way we help companies is through our Business Finance team, which has worked with hundreds of companies around the region, including Metal Spinners Group Limited, to help them access SFI funding. The money can be used to help companies expand, create jobs and invest in state-of-the-art machinery.

Through programmes like this, One North East has nurtured companies so they develop to their full potential.

And for them to be able to do that, it is vital that the economic conditions are in place to allow them to continue their upward path. …

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