Announcement due on more 1,000 new jobs heading to North East, say business leaders
Industry leaders have remained tight-lipped on details so far, simply saying they hope to be able to confirm more details about the boost to the region ‘shortly’.
But they also hinted more good news could be on the horizon, following an ‘incredibly busy’ period fielding enquiries from national and international investors, which included showing off opportunities across Tyne and Wear.
“There is also quite a few significant announcements due shortly, but which are not in the public domain yet, but they will be covering over 1,000 jobs, so that is positive,” said Guy Currey, director at Invest North East England.
“We’re often accused in the North East of not being very successful, in terms of inward investment successes.
“Last year wasn’t our best year, but we were third in terms of new jobs created per 100,000 working age population and last year the West Midlands was the only region to perform better than the North East [not including London].
“We do punch above our weight relative to the size of the region and this year we should do really really well.”
Mr Currey was speaking at a meeting of the North East Combined Authority’s Economic Development Digital Advisory Board.
According to a report for the panel, 2018/19 saw 1,554 new jobs created in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.
And although that figure was the second lowest of 12 UK regions, it was joint third with Northern Ireland relative to population, equivalent to 125 jobs created per 100,000 working age people.
Other recent business successes highlighted include online supermarket Ocado’s announcement it would create 300 jobs when it moves to the former Vaux brewery site, in Sunderland.
Mr Currey added: “We’re focusing mainly on creating leads from the digital technology companies and business services companies based in London and the South East.
“We’ve focused on the UK and Ireland partly because of Brexit and we’re focusing on where we know there’s an appetite for expanding out of London.”