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North East Connected

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Some points of interest for the North East in Industrial Strategy green paper, says planning expert


Jan 8, 2017

James Hall, partner at planning consultancy Barton Willmore, said: “Rather than a radical departure from previous thinking, the newly unveiled Industrial Strategy can be seen as a more practical continuance of this Government’s commitment to intervene to develop strategically important industry.

“With Brexit looming large on the horizon, the political profile of public policy for industry has really risen to the fore, and this announcement will certainly help to alleviate some of the uncertainty surrounding the coming years.  Closer collaboration between Government and business has been placed high on the agenda, and May has set out her stall that a long-term and ‘larger than local’ approach is vital when engineering strategic economic interventions.

“However, it’s noticeable the North East is not mentioned in the key “upgrading infrastructure” section of the paper. That said, the region is well placed to benefit from promised support for connected and autonomous vehicles sector given its automotive expertise. The vision for the International Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Tyneside will also benefit from the strategy’s focus on the vehicle sector plus improving digital infrastructure and the wider backing of local innovation strengths.

“Crucially, this Green Paper opens up new opportunities for place making and infrastructure delivery. One of the tools the Government has at its disposal in supporting the growth of industry is the planning system.  Considering the relationship and interplay between industry and communities will be integral to maximise the economic benefits of any fresh investment, and effective planning for infrastructure-led development will ensure that these benefits ripple out widely across the regions.”

By Emily