North East LEP publishes second, annual Our Economy report

The North East LEP is a public, private and education sector partnership responsible for promoting and developing economic growth in the local authority areas of Co Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

In 2014 the LEP published its North East Strategic Economic Plan (updated in February 2019) which set targets for the region to achieve by 2024, with the headline target being to create 100,000 more jobs, of which 70% should be ‘better jobs’, defined as managers, directors and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations.

The Strategic Economic Plan sets out 5 programmes of delivery in order to achieve its targets, namely:

  • Business growth
  • Innovation
  • Skills, employment, inclusion and progression
  • Transport connectivity
  • Infrastructure and investment

The Our Economy 2019 report provides an update on the performance of the North East economy and how it is changing over time. Performance is measured against a wide range of indicators which in turn inform the basis of the Strategic Economic Plan.

Despite significant upheavals in the global and national economy as well as the inevitable uncertainty arising from the somewhat prolonged nature of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, the second annual Our Economy report suggests that there is cause for optimism about the regional economy.

The report demonstrates that the North East economy has continued to grow, with improvements in both the employment rate and productivity. On both measures, the gap between the North East and England excluding London has narrowed (by 34% for employment rate and by 15% for economic activity rate) since the Strategic Economic Plan was launched in 2014.

Whilst this undoubtedly represents good progress, there is more to be done. As the Our Economy 2019 report makes clear, there are fewer private sector enterprises in the North East compared to the rest of the country excluding London. In 2018 there were 51,845 private sector enterprises in the region, equivalent to 318 private sector enterprises (up from 275 in 2014) for every 10,000 adults. This compares to 474 for England excluding London.

If North East performance matched England excluding London we would have 25,500 additional businesses.

How best to achieve this outcome is the focus of the LEP’s programme of delivery around business growth. Its priorities include ensuring that North East people and businesses have simplified access to the support required to start, scale and improve, encouraging high potential start-ups through a dedicated support programme, encouraging more North East businesses to trade outside the region and ensuring that regional businesses are able to access information and support to prepare for changing economic circumstances.

Given the clear imperative to encourage and promote business growth as a key part of the region’s economic prospects, Sintons are delighted to be headline sponsors of this year’s Startup Week.

Newcastle Startup Week, an annual five-day (& night) festival for entrepreneurs and business leaders takes place in multiple venues across Newcastle and Gateshead starting next week, 13 May 2019.

Karen Simms, head of corporate and commercial at Sintons, said: “As a leading advisor to businesses at all stages of their journey, our team has the knowledge and experience to help startups identify and deal with important legal issues, in a strategic and cost effective way. Specialists in our teams regularly advise startups on structuring their business, negotiating key contracts, protecting their IP, preparing their terms of business, engaging with their employees, securing property, and preparing for their future both personally and professionally.

“We are truly delighted to become a premium sponsor of Newcastle Startup Week in recognition of our capabilities in this area. The event has done so much to help support and inspire businesses and entrepreneurs in our region, and has played a central role in putting the North East of England on the map internationally as an ideal place to start or grow your business. We look forward to working with Paul and his team in preparing for Newcastle Startup Week 2019, and we are already looking forward to meeting yet more outstanding entrepreneurs and learning about their plans.”

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