Echo campaign's got it right - Mandelson

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is backing our drive to Keep Wearside Working.

The Echo revealed last week that Prime Minister Gordon Brown had given the campaign his support.

Now the top man at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is also urging North East businesses to throw their weight behind the drive.

Peter Mandelson is well aware of the problems facing the region – he served as MP for Hartlepool for 12 years before being appointed as a European Commissioner.

He said: "I know many companies are facing a difficult time and having to make tough decisions.

"Right now, we need to support workers, work with companies to avoid redundancies and, most importantly, restore confidence in our local economies.

"But it is also vital we continue to invest in our people and in innovation so that the UK retains its reputation as an exciting place to do business and can quickly seize new opportunities once the economy picks up.

"The Sunderland Echo's Keep Wearside Working campaign is a perfect example of what local groups and organisations should be doing to help people in their area.

"It's imperative we take action at community level – this may be a global downturn but its impact is local.

"I have made it one of my core priorities to forge stronger relationships with local Regional Development Agencies. They are our link to businesses and workers across the country.

"One North East chief executive Alan Clarke sits on the board of the Nissan Task Force and as one of the region's main employers, it's important we work with the company to protect as many jobs as we can.

"I sincerely hope that businesses and organisations across the North East will pull together to assist the Echo in turning this into a comprehensive, helpful service."

The Echo launched Keep Wearside Working last month in response to the announcement of hundreds of job losses at Nissan and in the plant's supply chain.

Do you have good news to share? Contact Kevin Clark on 501 7150 or get in touch by email.