Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Economic Review of Region Well-Received

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Economic Review of Region Well-Received

Article excerpt

Byline: ECONOMY Ruth Lognonne? 0191 201 6139 ?

THE North East's business leaders have reacted favourably towards Lord Adonis's review into the region's economy, but say much needs to be done if the plan is to reach its full potential.

In his economic review, to be handed to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lord Adonis says the region does not have enough innovative companies offering enough good jobs.

He fears the North East does not project a strong enough identity nationally and internationally, and is not a strong enough magnet for talent, trade and tourism.

However, speaking at Vantec's new multi-million-pound warehouse near Sunderland, Lord Adonis said yesterday that these challenges could be overcome with leadership, innovation and investment.

"We just need to move further and faster," he said. "Progress in some areas depends to some extent on national government, which needs to focus more on infrastructure, innovation, and decentralisation to strong regional institutions.

"But there is plenty of energy and capacity in the North East to create more and better jobs; the 60,000 extra private sector jobs in the next 10 years highlighted by the review, if the region's strengths are fully mobilised.

"A big issue is what I call leadership with a plan, without which nothing ever gets done.

"We have excellent business, political and voluntary sector leaders in the North East, but we need the sum to be more than the parts. For that to happen we need stronger institutions and a bold manifesto for change."

Echoing these sentiments on the day was Andrew Hodgson, chief executive at Tyneside-based subsea equipment manufacturer SMD.

Hodgson, who is also a board member of the North East LEP, said "I am greatly inspired by what this report has to say. …

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