Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 16.17.15SKILLS, a stronger regional image and greater global connectivity were just some of the concerns laid down by North East businesses at a post-election business event, hosted by chartered accountancy practice Tait Walker.

Aimed at forming a unified voice for the region by addressing the issues that really matter post-General Election, the animated session saw the NECC’s Ross Smith, Edward Twiddy of Atom Bank, Liz Mayes from the EEF and Bob Paton of the North East LEP take centre stage, covering a range of hot topics currently affecting North East businesses.

Devolution, skills and infrastructure came out on top as the main issues requiring action from Government, alongside the ongoing issue of regional branding and ensuring the North East has optimum broadband connectivity.

Panel participant Ross Smith said: “We can’t sit back and wait for these things to happen – business and political leaders in the North East need to engage with Government to give us the best chance of making progress.

“There was a strong message that we need to be on the front foot as a region, being clear about the huge strengths that exist in our business community and making a strong case for investment to maximise returns from our economy.”

Tait Walker’s Andrew Moorby said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our regions business leaders together at this event. It was clear that there are some key issues we all feel very passionately about, and I agree with Ross that pushing forward as a united region and showing off our talents and strengths is key to our success as a business community.”

As well as debating the key issues of the moment, the panel of speakers shared their experiences, current processes and tried and tested business strategies with the audience, in a bid to encourage conversation and give a voice to the North East’s company directors.

Andrew added: “In the wake of the General Election, the region needs to be bold in putting its case forward for making the North East the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ we know it has the potential to be – with or without support from Whitehall. Hopefully, through events such as this, we can start to form a unified voice and achieve real clarity on what we need from Government to enable us to get to where we want to be.”