Journal to hold debate on devolution for the North East

Breakfast event will bring together experts from the political and business worlds to debate greater powers for the region

Grey's Monument stands out in the Newcastle City Centre skyline
Grey's Monument stands out in the Newcastle City Centre skyline

The future of devolution in the North East is to come under the spotlight at an event being staged by The Journal next month.

The devolution breakfast will see a range of experts from the political and business worlds debating the opportunities and challenges the North East faces as power is de-centralised to different regions and nations.

The event is being organised in conjunction with Developing Consensus, a private and public partnership that is aiming to address the issues facing development of the Newcastle area.

Members of the group include some of the main players in the regional development sector, including the Hanro Group, Bond Dickinson, Ryder Architecture, Clouston Group, Carrillion PLC and Quorum Business Park.

The breakfast – which will take place on April 21 – has been organised with the de-centralisation of power a hot topic in the coming election.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have plans to boost economic performance of the North, but there have been warnings that increased powers for Scotland to the north and Greater Manchester to the south could leave the North East struggling to keep up.

NcjMedia managing director Stuart Birkett used his speech at the recent Tyneside and Northumberland Business Awards to address the issue, saying: “Things are looking up for the economy in the North East and we’ve got a great deal to be proud and confident about. But the North East still faces a number of challenges.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge is that of potentially being surrounded by countries and regions that have been very successful in gaining meaningful devolution of spending powers from Government.

“The generous devo-max settlement for Scotland and the slightly unexpected devo-Manc arrangements for Greater Manchester are being shaped almost as we speak.

“Whilst a great deal of work is going on behind the scenes, our plans for the North East aren’t at such an advanced stage.

“Whatever you think about the politics behind regional devolution, it’s vital that the North East isn’t left behind and that everyone in business and politics locally works together in the best interests of the region to present a confident and ambitious united front.”

The Devolution Breakfast will take place on April 21, from 7.30am to 9.30am.

Further details on the event will be announced in the coming days. To reserve your table/tickets, log onto www.thejournal.co.uk/businessbreakfasts or contact Jennifer Lee, event manager, on 0191 2016168 or email jennifer.lee@trinitymirror.com.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer