Businesses in the North East this week contributed to the development of the region’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), which will set out how the region and government will work together to deliver increased productivity and living standards in the North East.

During the North East Local Industrial Strategy Summit, co-ordinated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), plans for the strategy were laid out to an audience which included representatives from the North East business community, academia and local government.

Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “The North East has been selected by Government as one of six areas to be the first to develop Local Industrial Strategies.

“The North East’s strategy will be ambitious and outward-looking, demonstrating how we will use our strengths as a region to increase productivity and improve the earning power and quality of life for people who live here.”

The North East LIS will complement the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost UK productivity, and use investment in skills, industry and infrastructure to create jobs and increase the earning power of people across the UK.

The LIS will include details on how the region can capitalise on opportunities presented by sector deals in areas such as clean growth and ageing society, and plans for the North East to forge links in international markets, increase inward investment and capitalise on international trade.

At the summit, businesses took part in a series of discussions themed around topics including infrastructure, energy and advanced manufacturing, contributing their insights and ideas to the development of the strategy.

“At today’s summit we presented the evidence and research which will form the basis of our LIS and we heard from some of the partners who are helping to inform its development.

“This strategy is an opportunity to demonstrate how the North East can capitalise on opportunities and really make its mark on the world, and it’s important that the business community has a say on its development. That’s why it was so encouraging to see so many people, who will be vital in making this vision a reality, actively involved in the event today,” added Andrew Hodgson.

Speakers at the summit included Ariel C Armony, Ph.D, from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA, who shared lessons from the Pittsburgh region’s delivery of increased productivity; Joaquim Oliveira Martins from the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, who discussed how all regions can benefit from increases in jobs and productivity; Tony Danker from Be The Business, who talked about the UK campaign for productivity and competitiveness; Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Combined Authority; and Cllr Iain Malcolm, Chair of the North East Combined Authority and Leader of South Tyneside Council.

The development of the North East LIS is being led by the North East LEP. The LIS will complement the North East Strategic Economic Plan – the key economic policy document for the region, which sets out the plan for adding 100,000 more and better jobs to the North East economy by 2024