North East LEP board member and mayoral candidate Jeremy Middleton said: “The extra focus on improving northern schools is fantastic news. For the North East to reach its full potential we need to ensure our young people have the skills they need to get the jobs that exist. Moving all schools towards academy status can free up fantastic heads to create fantastic schools, but will only achieve limited results without a comprehensive programme of business engagement delivering work experience and careers guidance for each and every student.
“A number of other measures announced by the chancellor should be positive for the region. In particular improving our links to the North West by dualling the A69, and supporting our manufacturing sector with tax cuts for the energy industry. I was disappointed not to see protection for Newcastle Airport from potentially aggressive Scottish tax policies, and will continue to call for matching powers for the North East.”