By Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East LEP
When it comes to the future of the UK, we all agree that the North East must be front and centre of the Government’s plans, which is why the Convention of the North with NP11 is an important date for the diary.
Taking place at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham on 13 September, the event will bring together the North’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnership chairs (the NP11) with the great and the good from the world of politics, business and academia, in addition to community leaders and young people.
People can be cynical about the Northern Powerhouse but we’re on the cusp of a major opportunity and it’s critical our region helps drive the agenda to capitalise appropriately.
It’s why here at the North East LEP we are throwing our full support behind the Convention. We will engage meaningfully in these highly significant discussions to ensure they cover the whole economic requirements of the North and place us at the front of the queue for greater decision-making powers and investment.
We need to ensure our rural areas are as supported as our urban hubs, and that our strengths in digital, advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences and energy are recognised by all.
I know my views are supported by the leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes who has long argued that our region must empower itself to play a leading role in a post-Brexit landscape.
The economy of the North is worth £304bn, equivalent to the tenth largest nation in Europe. Our challenges are similar, we have similar geographies and a similar set of opportunities.
However, while we have strong communities, these aren’t necessarily seeing the benefit of economic growth as they should.
This Convention of the North with NP11 is a major step forward. Our culture is one where we support everyone and do what we can to help everyone thrive.
Combining all our voices is a sure-fire way to leave the new Prime Minister and Government in no doubt about our ambitions and how we will play our part in the globally competitive economy of the future.
To find out more or to sign up for the event, visit here.