Mark Adair

North East business networks support positive progress with devolution discussions

North East England Chamber of Commerce, CBI and Federation of Small Businesses have jointly welcomed an outline of a proposed new devolution settlement for the north of the region.

Following recent reports that an expanded settlement for the six local authorities across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear could deliver billions of additional investment, creating thousands of new jobs, business leaders have expressed their support for greater autonomy for the area.

Based on consultations with members’ throughout Spring, the three business bodies have renewed their commitment to supporting more powers and funding for the region driven by local priorities.

John McCabe, chief executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce said, “we recognise the huge amount of work from leaders across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to get discussions to this advanced stage and are grateful for it. Positive partnership working has already paid real dividends for our businesses and communities, especially as we recover from Covid.

“An extended deal which delivers more funding and powers over transport, skills, jobs and homes would be a welcome next step on the region’s devolution journey.”

Sarah Glendinning, North East director, CBI said, “the CBI is keen to see local leaders empowered to make the big decisions which address regional challenges and deliver economic growth.

“Businesses tell us that devolution in the North and South of the region has already delivered tangible benefits – that is why our members are really positive about conversations so far and support regional leaders to get this next phase of work over the line.”

Reshma Begum, North East development manager, Federation of Small Businesses said, “for small and medium sized businesses in particular, we know that wider devolution could make a real difference to creating the conditions for success in the North East.

“They are really supportive of the opportunities a new deal could open up, especially in areas where we have unique regional assets, such as the rural economy or green industries.”

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