Region’s leading businesses address levelling up needs in new Chamber report
The North East Chamber of Commerce has today (10 September) released a report which focuses on what businesses in the North East need to see from the government’s levelling up agenda.
The Levelling up the North East report includes contributions from the region’s leading businesses and details what levelling up will mean for the region’s economy.
Levelling up aims to reduce regional inequalities and create access to opportunities across the UK, including in the North East. The government’s strategy around levelling up focuses on improving pay, increasing research and development, and growing opportunities in the private sector.
Andrew Haigh, Chamber president and chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Chamber Partners are leaders in their field and look to put the North East at the front and centre of government policy making through the Levelling up the North East report.
“With contributions from our Partner members focusing on the levelling up missions, this report explores what businesses in different sectors across the region need to see from levelling up.
“There is a key opportunity to tackle the economic and social issues facing the North East and to build on our strengths to grow the economy. Achieving this will play an important role in the Chamber’s ambition to create a stronger, fairer North East.”
In 2022, the government published the Levelling Up White Paper which defined what levelling up means in more detail, specifying twelve missions to be achieved by 2030.
The Chamber’s report, with leading local experts, provides insights into: digital connectivity; health and wellbeing; transport; skills; housing; the role of town centres; pride in place; reducing crime; employment; education; productivity; and local leadership through devolution.
John McCabe, Chamber chief executive, said: “Devolution is increasingly important in the North East, with the region having two elected Mayors and an expanded devolution deal just agreed for the North of the region.
“Our newly released Stronger, Fairer, North East strategy sets out our key campaign priorities through to 2025. These asks link to the levelling up missions with a focus on improving skills, health in the workplace, access to transport and supporting devolution in the North East.
“The Chamber will continue to work with our members to raise the voice of businesses in the region and ensure that levelling up delivers on the needs of our members.”
The Partner-led Levelling up the North East report echoes key Chamber asks presented to chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of the November Autumn Statement.
In the letter, the Chamber championed local businesses and called for policies which enable organisations to plan for long term growth, including a commitment to the proposed transport infrastructure following the scrapping of HS2 in the North.
The Chamber has carried out extensive consultations with North East organisations and stakeholders ahead of the statement, which is due to be presented by chancellor Jeremy Hunt to Parliament on 22 November.