Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Private Sector Leads Region to Recovery

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Private Sector Leads Region to Recovery

Article excerpt

JUST days ago former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine was in the North East.

The Conservative peer was addressing hundreds of leaders of business and industry promoting the new Regional Growth Fund.

The fund is designed to encourage businesses to expand, create more jobs and importantly re-balance the economy away from the public sector in favour of the private sector.

The region is a priority target for the fund as it relies on public sector jobs more than any other part of the country. Leading Tories have admitted the cuts to Government spending will see workers at councils, hospitals and police forces lose their jobs.

But research been created in the region since this summer.

That figure has led Conservative MP James Wharton to claim that the economic recovery is all ready under way and that it is being led by the private sector. The research carried out by Darlington based marketing company Recognition suggests that since August this year 10,795 jobs have been announced along with pounds 2.2bn of new investment.

Mr Wharton, who represents Stockton South, said: "A discernible private sector recovery is underway in the North East. Business is taking advantage of low interest rates and an emergency budget that offered the right mix of business tax breaks and spending adjustments.

"Business is also harnessing the innovation and talent that is a hallmark of people in the region.

"Labour and the trade unions have been very vocal and negative about the state of our region, but those who are investing have expressed their confidence in hard cash and jobs.

"We all know the region's economy is in a state of transformation, which will be painful for many of the people involved as the public sector makes changes.

"However, the private sector is doing its bit and we can see that growth is taking place."

Mr Wharton also pointed to projects in the Teesside area that are generating jobs. He said: "Significant progress has been made on landmark investments such as the new TAG offshore facility for wind turbines, and there is a really positive vibe about the prospects for steel making. …

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