Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

CBI Boss Is Fighting in Teesside's Corner; Tub-Thumping Business Champion Sarah Green Swapped the Far East for the North-East of England. JEZ DAVISON Finds out Why

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

CBI Boss Is Fighting in Teesside's Corner; Tub-Thumping Business Champion Sarah Green Swapped the Far East for the North-East of England. JEZ DAVISON Finds out Why

Article excerpt

Byline: JEZ DAVISON

THE timeworn proverb, "absence makes the heart grow fonder", could have been coined for Sarah Green.

The North-east regional director of the CBI has worked in several exotic locations including China's sprawling Shanghai and cash-rich Hong Kong.

But because her heart is embedded in the North-east of England that shaped her, she ditched her high-flying solicitor's job in Asia and began the journey back to the place she'll always call home.

"I was like a homing pigeon", she says. s "I just felt that there was maybe something worth coming back for.

"I think this region has got a strong identity, it's a part of its heritage.

"Sometimes our pride gets in the way and we are a bit insular in our outlook.

"But as a region we are like a big family - we fight our corner and for each other."

She includes Teesside in this set up, even though her roots are firmly embedded in Tyneside.

Born in Whickham, she currently resides in the leafy suburb of affluent Jesmond - a world away from the earthy, working class culture of Middlesbrough or Redcar.

But Green maintains that the region depends on Teesside for many things, not least the wealth pouring out of its vast, sprawling process industry - a major player in a pounds 10bn-plus industry accounting for 30% of region's industrial base.

She also points to a flourishing biotech industry on Teesside and praises the ambition of regeneration chiefs driving a 25-year gameplan to create a digital super-cluster in Middlesbrough.

With her CBI hat on, Green is lobbying on behalf of all industries. But she's fighting hard for manufacturers in particular and is concerned that the sector is suffering due to Government reform of the electricity market.

She wants energy-intensive firms to be exempt from the controversial carbon price floor, which from 2013 will impose hefty financial penalties on high-volume carbon emitters.

Companies with huge operations on Teesside, including petrochemical giant SABIC and Indian-owned Tata Steel, say the move will ramp up their energy bills by 20%.

And Green is worried it could force firms to move to more favourable tax regimes in other countries, driving away vital jobs and wealth. …

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