County Durham is bucking the UK trend for low productivity and its main assets are the people who live and work there.
This was the key message from Brian Archer, managing director, Business Durham when he was guest speaker at North East England Chamber of Commerce’s Durham Annual Review at Lumley Castle, Chester le Street.
When I’m asked what makes County Durham the best place to invest I’m very clear, it is the people.Brian Archer
Dozens of businesses from across the country were represented.
Brian Archer paid tribute to the quality of the North East workforce.
“When I’m asked what makes County Durham the best place to invest I’m very clear, it is the people,” he said.
“We have a great skilled workforce who have an excellent work ethic.”
A number of high-profile developments were continuing to attract new business and jobs.
“The statistics around the development in this area speak for themselves with over £3.4billion being invested in the county,” said Mr Acher.
“We have attracted world-leading businesses to NetPark, for example, and see the potential for huge economic benefits from our new development at Aykley Heads.
“Durham University has also announced substantial investment of £1billion going forward and the Milburngate development on the Durham riverside is also forging ahead.
“This will complement, and build on, the existing, extraordinary tourism offer of the county with the World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Castle, as well as Beamish Museum and Kynren.”
As part of his speech Brian Archer also touched on his own background and his origins running a small business and how it drove him to help others in the same situation.
“I am passionate about SMEs as I started my career in a small retail business before going to head up a substantial company with 130,000 staff,” he said.
“The challenges of the smaller business were very different but extremely tough as I had to wear so many hats.
“This is why I’m so determined to make doing business with Durham County Council, via my team at Business Durham, as easy as possible,” he added”
At the event Mike Wade (Hodgson Sayers) was re-elected chair of the Chamber Durham committee and Dawn Fairlamb (New College Durham) was re-elected vice- chair.
The North East LEP Growth Hub sponsored the event.