Our Strategic Economic Plan

Creating 100,000 more and better jobs for the North East by 2024

Growing a more productive, inclusive and sustainable regional economy

The North East has a diverse economy and our region is recognised as a high quality location to live, learn, invest and do business.

The Strategic Economic Plan was initially published in 2014 and sets out our ambition to:


Increase the number of jobs in the North East economy by 100,000 by 2024


Ensure that 70% of the jobs growth is in better jobs

We’ve already made significant progress, with 74,000 new jobs created since 2014 and improvements to our employment rates, economic activity rates and productivity.

Delivering our plan

The delivery of our plan is split into three distinctive parts:

Four areas of strategic importance – Digital, Advanced Manufacturing, Health and Life Sciences, and Energy – these areas are where we can build a stronger North East economy; one that reinforces our position as a contributor to regional, national and global economic growth.

Four service sectors – Education, Financial. Professional and Business Services, Transport and Logistics and Construction – these sectors support the wider economy and offer significant opportunity for more and better jobs in the North East.

Five programmes of delivery – Business Growth, Innovation, Skills, employment, inclusion and progression, Transport connectivity and Investment and infrastructure – these programmes set out initiatives and projects that will deliver the ambitions of this Plan.

Read our plan

Our economy, and the environment in which we operate in, is constantly changing. We first published the Strategic Economic Plan in 2014 and frequently update it to ensure it reflects current trends, challenges and opportunities.

“The North East Local Enterprise Partnership works with partners to lead and facilitate the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan but it is owned by the region.”

Andrew Hodgson, Chair, North East Local Enterprise Partnership





Advanced Manufacturing


Health & Life Sciences


Get to know the plan in greater detail

Time is precious. That’s why we’ve designed our Strategic Economic Plan in a variety of ways so you can get to know more about the plan for the region. Read our Executive Summary, or if you have more time to hand, download the full plan below.


How was the SEP developed?

The first version of the Strategic Economic Plan was published in April 2014. It followed on from the North East Independent Economic Review and set out a high level vision for the economy and included investment programmes for Local Growth Fund and European funds which were available at that time.

The SEP was refreshed during 2016 and launched in March 2017 following an extensive consultation involving businesses and economic partners. The refresh process enabled the region to reflect on new economic data following the end of the recession and the changing economic policy environment including the decision to leave the European Union.

Who are the LEP’s partners with regards to delivery of the SEP?

A range of partners work with the North East LEP to help deliver the SEP. Our partners in Local Government are responsible for planning and regional transport programmes set out in the document, and a wide range of other organisations take part in LEP programmes to support SEP objectives including through our Innovation, Business Growth and Skills Boards which include key partners from business organisations, universities and colleges. A number of central Government departments and Agencies are actively involved in our work.

Find out more about our Boards and Advisory Panels.

What is a ‘better’ job?

A ‘better’ job is defined as being in the top three Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) categories, which are: managers, directors and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations. Measuring this means we can demonstrate the growth of higher skilled roles in our economy.

Where can I find out more information about projects that the LEP has funded?

All of the projects that the North East LEP is currently funding can be found on our projects page.

Do you offer any financial support to businesses who want to grow their business?

The LEP manages three funds directly and supports a number of others. You can find out more about these funds in our funding pages.

Get in touch


Responsible for development of the North East Strategic Economic Plan and the North East areas of strategic importance along with strengthened coordination of North East partners in the context of the Northern Powerhouse.

If you have any questions or feedback please get in touch:

Richard Baker
Head of Strategy, Policy and Research