The recent Green Paper, Building Our Industrial Strategy, sets out Government’s proposed approach to creating an industrial strategy that addresses long term challenges to the UK economy, aiming to increase productivity and drive growth across the whole country.
The Green Paper aims to identify where proactive Government intervention can:
- Build on UK economic strengths and extend excellence into the future in order to secure investment and develop markets for UK goods and services
- Close identified performance gaps between sectors, companies and areas
- Ensure that the UK is the most competitive place to start and build a business
During a three month consultation period, the Government invited responses to the proposed strategy The North East LEP, working together with the North East Combined Authority and in consultation with business organisations and other partners, put forward a response.
Richard Baker, Head of Strategy and Policy at the North East LEP, introduces the key elements of our response.
The Government proposed that a UK-wide industrial strategy is required if we’re to successfully increase productivity and competitiveness in the UK economy. We welcomed the opportunity to have an input to the proposed strategy
We drew on the extensive consultation and discussions the North East LEP has had with economic partners across the North East region. Much of this discussion has taken place as we’ve worked to refresh the North East’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which sets out the strategic direction for the regional economy. The timing is important given the decision to leave the European Union, and it is important that we prepare for the opportunities and challenges”
Indeed, the anticipation that a national industrial strategy would be developed was one of the elements which informed the development of the SEP, which sets out clearly evidence of the region’s industrial strengths, innovation and business growth opportunities.
In our response to Government we identified 10 key issues and set out recommendations focused on the following areas:
- The importance of the North East SEP in setting a direction for our economy
- Measuring success of the industrial strategy
- Preparing for leaving the European Union
- Sector deals
- Promoting and resourcing innovation in the North East
- Supporting our business growth ecosystem
- Improving skills to drive growth
- A long term framework for public investment
- Improved infrastructure for enhanced productivity and investment
- Robust, collaborative and multi-level governance
We’re making good progress towards the North East LEP’s aim of creating more and better jobs in the North East, driving forward the region’s economy and building on our strengths as a region. It’s our belief that, as the North East SEP is implemented, it will make a strong contribution to the UK’s overall industrial development and will continue to cement the North East’s position as one of the UK’s fastest growing regional economies. The Industrial Strategy provides a significant opportunity for ensuring it is delivered