From coalmining to computer programming – these men give their vision on the economic future of Sunderland and Durham

(left to right, IoD County Durham and Sunderland committee member David Cliff, Chief Exec for Sunderland City Council Dr Dave Smith, Chief Exec for Durham County Council George Garlick and IoD County Durham and Sunderland committee chairman Graham Robb
(left to right, IoD County Durham and Sunderland committee member David Cliff, Chief Exec for Sunderland City Council Dr Dave Smith, Chief Exec for Durham County Council George Garlick and IoD County Durham and Sunderland committee chairman Graham Robb
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BUSINESS leaders have been given an insight into the vision for County Durham and Wearside’s economic future.

Sunderland City Council chief executive Dave Smith and George Garlick, his opposite number from Durham County Council, addressed members and guests of the Institute of Directors (IoD) at a lunch event at the Evolve Business Centre, in Rainton Bridge.

Dr Smith discussed how Sunderland City Council had reinvented its economy, replacing coalmining and shipbuilding with software.

He also talked about the success of Nissan and about current and upcoming projects including the recent decision to extend the city’s low-carbon enterprise zone.

George Garlick outlined the challenges faced by Durham and how the council had been working with Visit England to promote the tourism industry, as well as promoting Durham University, recognised as one of the top 100 in the world.

He touched upon current projects taking place in Durham City, including the development of the areas that were home to the Ice Rink and the passport office.

Graham Robb, chairman of the IoD’s County Durham and Sunderland Committee, said: “Dave and George have given our members a very encouraging insight into the projects which will stimulate the economic growth of our region.

“There are exciting opportunities for businesses to flourish in the region and Sunderland and Durham councils are sending out the right message to the rest of the UK: we are ready to do business.

“We are very grateful that Dave and George took time out of their very busy schedules to attend the event.”

The North East branch of the IoD has approximately 500 members, with a volunteer committee and other IoD staff who support local members and organise inspirational and valuable business events in the area.

Active within the local business community, the IoD North East host regular conferences, discussions, networking events and Director Development seminars to complement the various social gatherings taking place throughout the region. Full details at www.iod.com.