Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reasons to Look Forward with Confidence

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reasons to Look Forward with Confidence

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair MacColl

THE race to be in the Fastest 50 this year was formidably competitive. The number of businesses that could have made the cut confirms just how many success stories we have to tell in the North East. Encouragingly they represent a broad spectrum of sectors and show that great businesses come in all shapes and sizes.

If this country's future prosperity depends on an ambitious, innovative and determined private sector, it's certainly in safe hands here in the North East - with companies continuing to invest, grow and create jobs despite the challenges brought about by the economic downturn. This fantastic group of companies demonstrate more forcefully than anything else that the spirit of enterprise is alive and well in the North East.

So congratulations to those companies listed here today who are a great example of the zealous work ethic, talent and vision of companies in the North East. These are world class companies who will accept nothing less than being the very best at what they do. They set an inspiring example to each and every one of us. The current economic conditions remain an issue for so many businesses, but it's clear that companies in our region are adapting and working harder than ever before to ensure that those conditions don't act as a barrier to progress. There are lots of encouraging signs which suggest an underlying confidence.

During the past year we've seen the formation of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), bringing together a coalition of public and private sector partners to help boost the economy. This is an initiative that is gathering momentum all the time and it's clear that businesses across the region are keen to play a meaningful role in the long term development of business infrastructure and economic growth.

On top of that exports in the North East are at record levels - standing at a 12-monthly total of pounds 12.9bn - an impressive 21% higher than the previous 12 months, and six points higher than the national increase of 15%. That's the highest level of exports by value recorded in the North East over a 12-month period. …

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