Andrew Haldane, Chair of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy Council, today (Sept 24) visited Tyneside to speak about a range of key issues at Newcastle United Foundation’s Strong Foundations event.

Hosted at St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United FC, the event saw around 160 guests, which included business leaders, local authorities, third sector community leaders, public organisations and young people from around the region listen to Andrew’s key note speech entitled “Industrial Strategy and the Future of Civil Society” organised by Newcastle United Foundation, the club’s official charity.

The Strong Foundations event, sponsored by the Premier League, saw Andy – who was appointed as Chief Economist at the Bank of England in 2014 – explore the critical factors that determine economic progress for communities, the importance of ‘place’ and the future role of the Civil Society in building strong foundations for the North East’s young people.

Haldane hosted third sector leaders and young people from the Foundation’s employability programmes in a closed group discussion, gaining insight into how they are working to improve outcomes for local communities, before moving onto his key note speech and panel discussion, which highlighted key issues around transport and connectivity, schools and education, housing and shelter, high-streets and social spaces, fair pay and access to money and finance.

Mr Haldane said: “I’d like to thank the Newcastle United Foundation for hosting such an excellent event.

“It’s the first time that I have spoken about industrial strategy in the North East and it was fantastic to have such a strong mix of people in attendance.

“I’ve spoken extensively about the importance of opening up and improving understanding of the economy, as well as the need for creativity in economic thought, and the recognition of ambiguity and alternatives.

“Today was an excellent chance to once again reiterate those topics and learn how we can work together in developing the future of civil society.

“Newcastle United Foundation’s work is a great example of how the third sector can support a region. It is partnerships between industry, charities, education and others that will create opportunities for the future.”

Acting Head of the Newcastle United Foundation, Steve Beharall, added: “We’re delighted to have someone of Andrew’s stature come and talk at our event and for so many people from the region to have come and listened to such an important topic.

“We are very proud to be part of the third sector and work alongside many other charities and voluntary organisations in the North East. But we are equally proud to work closely with the private sector, especially NUFC and the Premier League, and proud to be part of an industry that is successful and wants to share its success with others.”