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Hosted by North East Local Enterprise Partnership Board member David Land at Tallent Automotive’s Newton Aycliffe plant, Business Secretary Vince Cable met a cross section of the North East LEP Board and leaders in the fields of innovation and access to finance today, Monday 13 May.

Joining North East LEP Chair Paul Woolston and Deputy Chair Councillor Mick Henry were David Land, Gill Southern and Michael Bellamy from the North East LEP Board, Professor Roy Sandbach of Newcastle University’s Business School, Andrew Mitchell of North East Finance, Jane Robinson of Gateshead Council and LEP Director Edward Twiddy.

As part of a wide ranging discussion about the key themes in the recent Independent Economic Review led by Lord Adonis, Andrew Mitchell provided the Secretary of State with an update on the region’s Finance for Business scheme. Providing equity and loan finance to new and growing businesses, Mr Mitchell described the key role these funds have played and the importance of continuing this support to business and professional management of these evergreen funds.

Highlighting the open approach of the North East LEP to promoting and garnering the best ideas and talent from across the area, Dr Cable was briefed by Professor Sandbach on the opportunities for businesses nationally and internationally to take the very best of regional design and product innovation into market places as diverse as consumer goods, ICT and sub-sea exploration.

Summing up the meeting, Paul Woolston said he was delighted to see the partnership’s strategic leadership in action, and have the chance to emphasise the continued need to bring all talents together to realise our future potential.

He said: “Opportunities like this to accentuate the positives about our future plans are extremely valuable. We need to continue to build on the ownership that the North East LEP is demonstrating.

“Meeting the Secretary of State in a part of the region with a huge future ahead of it is testament to the broad based and well-balanced economy of the North East.”

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