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Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) restructured

with 2 comments

Eight business leaders added to board

Having lobbied the government to delay any announcements on funding for the north east Local Enterprise Partnership, business leaders have succeeded in getting eight of their numbers appointed to the new board of the LEP. Along with two academics they join seven local authority representatives in an effort to create an imaginative proposition that could bring increased funding for north east enterprises and jobs.

Speaking on behalf of the seven local authorities that make up the partnership, Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, welcomed the appointment of the permanent board.

He said: “We now have a board with a good mix of skills and experience and I’m sure under Paul Woolston’s leadership we will be able to build on this over the next few months to support a thoughtful and strategic approach to the economic development for the North East.”

Mr Woolston said: “I’m North East through and through and for me the reason for getting involved with the partnership is clear, what is good for the regional economy is good for my business life and family life, just the same as it is for everyone here.

“So really I want to galvanise the region, to make sure this partnership makes this a better place to live and work. That means the entire North East, working with the Tees Valley local enterprise partnership to really do what we can together.”

He added: “I’m interested in the whole of the North East, rather than just looking out for individual areas, and I include Tees Valley when I say we are stronger when we act together as a region.”

The big question remains will this benefit South Tyneside (who favoured a scheme based on the A19 corridor), or will it favour the larger cities of Newcastle/Gateshead and Sunderland? Whilst any jobs boost and regeneration will be warmly welcomed, I fear that existing companies may benefit at the expense of new start ups, and I can only hope that the science and green initiatives currently being marketed can have some real impact.

Do readers think that these areas mark out the future for the north east?

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Written by curly

July 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

2 Responses

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  1. ONE covered our region, it was chaired by a private sector representative, had a mix of private sector and local government representation. It cost a small fortune to close it and now we are trying to put something in its place that is less able. What a waste of time, effort, money and resources that were made redundant. We have to think regional to ensure we make the most of any opportunities and we need to work in collaboration. South Tyneside is far too small to even attempt to go it alone. The A19 corridor again is too small. In reality we should look carefully at Hailshams report of the 1960s, what he recommended then, is still valid now. Remember if Nissan create more jobs it is advantageous to the whole area. When Durham Cathedral was given world heritage status (as with Hadrians Wall) it boosted the economy for all. ONE worked well, it brought jobs, as well as a growth in the regional economy. This was not the case in all of the other RDAs but we, in the north, ended up paying the price of ideology. It is a poor reflection on a government that gets rid of the thing that was working well for us. Also Curly, how mch funding will be made available to support the LEPs? I can tell you now it is far far less than we had before. Again a case of Emperors new clothes. There is a real danger that the local authorities start fighting their own corners instead of uniting to ensure the best possible economic result. But that is where we are now due to inept government, I hope the LEPs can pull rabbits out of hats.


    July 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm

  2. Right on the money or lack of it as the case may be, Kevin. Even the continuing Premiership survival of Newcastle Falcons is important for the local Tyneside economy; we are all in it together and should be as ONE.


    July 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

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