A business forum dubbed ‘The State of the Region’ – arranged to bring North East businesses and leaders together to help raise and address concerns and issues surrounding hot topics such as Brexit, devolved power and economic climate – has been hailed a success by the region’s business leaders.
Chaired by Lucy Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Alchemists, and a powerful panel of LEP representatives, the event held at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, was hosted by leading North East law firm Muckle LLP, Property Consultants Bilfinger GVA and built assets consultancy Turner & Townsend.
The event was held under Chatham House rule and attended by over 100 representatives from local businesses.
Chair Lucy Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Alchemists, said: “Following business concerns and issues surrounding recent political decisions which will clearly impact on the North East business world, we wanted to offer our support to the region’s businesses and provide an exclusive opportunity for key individuals to raise their views on pressing issues and the economic climate.”
Stephen McNicol, Muckle LLP, Client and Strategic Development Partner, said: “The political and economic landscape is very fluid at the moment. I can’t remember a more important time for businesses and regional influencers to come together to discuss and debate the opportunities and challenges presented to the North East.”
Roger Speirs, Regional Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA, said: “It is key that we keep devolution on the agenda and try to figure out how we promote the region with one voice. Attracting investment to the region has to be a role of both the public and private sector and this event has been a great opportunity to discuss how we do this and we as a business are keen to get involved.”
David Land, North East LEP board member, said: “The North East LEP remains fully committed to spearheading strategic economic growth and business leadership is central to this agenda.
“The State of the Region event is an important forum for businesses to air opinions in the wake of Brexit and devolution uncertainty.
“The LEP will continue to work closely with business to ensure the Strategic Economic Plan to create more and better jobs meets and reflects the requirements of companies who will deliver this vital new growth.”
Darren Laybourn, Director at Turner and Townsend, said: “We are proud to be able to lend our support in this important discussion. Turner and Townsend are committed to the continuing development of this region and our growth over the past five years especially reflects this.”
Ian Baggett, Adderstone Group Ltd, said: “This was an invaluable opportunity for us to listen to and raise our concerns in an open and honest environment. We were delighted to be invited to attend the event and it is vitally important during these times of change and uncertainty that our voice is heard by key decision makers, who can help us with advice, clearer direction and the changing economic climate.”