NECC presents four-point plan for sustainable growth
North East businesses have presented a four-point plan to the government which they believe will "empower the region" and "deliver sustainable economic growth".
The plan is a response to Nick Clegg's Northern Futures project, which is a new approach to policymaking where the power is given to the people who live and work in a region rather than decisions made by politicians and civil servants in Whitehall.
The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) has outlined four key principals it believes will help the region become a greater economic force.
Regional Policy – Swift devolution of powers in full consultation with the business community. Tax and spend decisions should be more flexible, equitable and targeted according to local or regional economic conditions: not those in London.
Developing Infrastructure – Investment will unlock activity throughout the economy by improving access to markets and unlocking the spatial capacity we have for increased levels of growth.
Supporting Competitiveness – A step-change in the way we equip people entering the workforce, regardless of what stage of their life they are at.
Removing Barriers – These exist in too many areas of business and hinder growth and job creation. Regionally specific pro-growth policies will create an economic core in the region, for which businesses will play a crucial role.
NECC policy and research manager Mark Stephenson said: "Addressing these issues will enable faster and more sustainable growth in the North East and consequently the UK.
"It is crucial that North East strengths are understood by decision makers in Government. It must acknowledge that due to the North East’s leadership in export, expertise in vital industry sectors, and capacity for further development, this region is an essential component of future national growth. Far from being a problem for the UK to solve, the North East is a huge asset, which must be allowed to flourish.
"The North East is blessed with a distinctive and fantastic culture; ranging from the arts, heritage, sport, creative industries and tourism which helps our areas grow by encouraging people to live, visit, invest and do business here."