Seven local authorities have joined forces with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership to showcase all the region has to offer at the UK’s premier international business event.
Members of the North East Combined Authority (NECA) - made up of Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils – are uniting with the LEP to provide a single gateway for investors looking to work within the region.
Known as Invest North East England, the initiative - on which a presentation will be given at the International Festival for Business (IFB) in Liverpool on July 21 and 22 - will make it easier for developers and businesses interested in setting up in the North East to get the support they need.
Providing a one-stop-shop for inward investment, the service will allow the councils to present one shared image of the region, highlighting its strengths in areas such as manufacturing and engineering; life sciences and healthcare; software and technology; subsea oil and gas; new and renewable energy; and professional, financial and business services.
The North East Combined Authority got the green light in April, a move the councils believe will give them a stronger voice when it comes to attracting jobs and investment to the region.
The authorities’ presentation will be part of Made in the UK, a series of conferences focusing on the manufacturing sector, with anticipated attendance by developers and senior business people from the UK and overseas.
Chairman of the North East Combined Authority, Cllr Simon Henig, said the event represented a significant step forward for group, and was a clear statement of their strengthening partnership.
“We believe strongly that the sum of what we offer is greater than the parts, and attending this event together is a real statement of intent for us,” he said.
“It is about showing the world what we have to offer in the North East, with one shared voice and a set of common strengths.
“The event is likely to be very well attended from people across the country and indeed, from overseas, so it is a great chance to showcase our region and start conversations with people who are looking for a place to do business.”
The International Festival for Business represents the largest global concentration of business events in 2014, and will be running over 50 days across seven weeks in June and July.
The event, which will attract business delegates and trade intermediaries from around the world, is a key part of the Government’s target of rebalancing the economy and achieving its export and investment objectives.
Economic Development and Regeneration lead at the combined authority, Cllr Paul Watson, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to make our case for the North East and what we have to offer as a region to potential investors.
“The North East has all of the assets and attributes to make a compelling case to investors and organisations looking to expand their business here.
“The attendance of the North East Combined Authority at an event like the International Festival for Business provides an opportunity to clearly articulate our offer to a national and international audience, and I am sure we will all benefit greatly from being part of this event.”
Paul Woolston Chair of the North East LEP said: “The North East has a great story to tell - alongside an excellent workforce and blossoming private sector, we have record levels of productivity growth, employment and economic growth as well as being the only region to have a consistent positive trade balance.
“The IFB is a great opportunity to showcase this to investors.
“By coming together to exhibit as Invest North East we present a strong and unified voice for the area and it is an example of how the North East is working in partnership to bring investment to the area.”
As well as attending this event, the authorities will come together again to attend MIPIM UK, a real estate and property show held in London in October.