19017Graham Robb, Chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North East, said: “The Chancellor’s decision to press ahead with the HS3 is good news for the North East, better transport across the Pennines in addition our existing links to Leeds brings us closer to other key Northern areas.

“The people and businesses of our region have a huge amount to offer the world, but our potential cannot be unlocked in isolation. This increased connectivity will allow the North East to take its rightful place as a full partner in the Northern Powerhouse, not as a sideshow to Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

“We now need to make the case for improving the A66 and the A69, to better connect the North and South of the region with the North West and the West of Scotland. An investment of this kind would be a display of faith in the North East’s business community, whose hard work and willingness to risk its capital is fuelling the region’s economic recovery.”