Kevan Carrick: Unlocking the door on economic growth

I thank all those who tweeted to elect me to the Most Influential People list published by The Journal last week

Kevan Carrick
Kevan Carrick

I thank all those who tweeted to elect me to the Most Influential People list published by The Journal last week.

I'm very grateful for the support which spurs me on to do more to Press for the economic growth and improvement in the property and constructions sectors that benefit us all.

Last week I dealt with the activity of the public sector to unlock the door for economic growth. We have seen the publication for consultation of a paper for the application of €500 million of European funds.

We also have the Government’s consultation paper for the establishment and governance of the proposed Combined Authority (CA) to work with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and drive change in strategic transport, economic development and job creation.

Coming up in the lift are two other important papers.

The first is the North East Strategic Economic Plan likely to be published early in the New Year. This will direct the focus on the delivery for economic growth. It is being produced in partnership between the CA and the NELEP.

The second relates to the formation of an Investment Gateway on how the CA and NELEP will work to seek to anchor inward investment.

This latter paper is important because in property and construction we will not see any radical change until there is an increase of demand in our market sectors.

As a second tier, we have seen the establishment of the Newcastle/Gateshead City Deal and are awaiting the approval of the Sunderland/South Tyneside City Deal. There are also other initiatives to drive economic growth and increase demand.

The public sector is working hard toward establishing a strong basis on which to progress economic growth in the region by spring 2014 when it is hoped that the CA will be formed. I would like to see the private sector step up to the plate to give full support.

We are currently in a period of consultation and we need to ensure that there is good feedback from all concerned to ensure that the papers are what is needed and are capable of delivery. This needs the advocacy and feedback of the private sector.

For example, how many have responded to European Fund consultation which expires on 29 November? Will we also get a good response to the consultation of the proposed CA?

We need the public sector to ensure the fullest engagement with the private sector. Because if there is any criticism, it is that there needs to be more effort to create ownership from the private sector. It also needs the private sector to take a greater interest and involvement.

This is our chance as a region to make a difference on which the prosperity for the region will be created.

I look forward to a busy eight weeks as the consultation papers run their course and in subsequent time to give support to the marketing of the region to grow essential demand.

:: Kevan Carrick is a partner at JK Property Consultants LLP, the policy spokesman for RICS North East, a mediator, a member of the RICS Dispute Resolution Panel and Chairman of Northern Dispute Resolution, a mediator appointment service.

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