Article sparks furious NE response

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BUSINESS leaders have reacted with anger to a national newspaper article comparing the North East to a failed U.S. city.

An article in The Guardian headlined “The north-east of England: Britain’s Detroit?” paints a bleak and depressing picture of the region and its economic future.

North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive, James Ramsbotham, condemned the image the piece projects.

“It is an incredibly-negative article when you consider it focuses on a region that has a surplus of land, energy and water reserves; the best air quality; the best export performance; the fastest-growing economic area in the country; rising employment; more manufacturers selling overseas than ever before and a general quality of life that cannot be matched by any other region in the UK,” he said.

“If anything, I feel sorry for those in the South East of the country who have to suffer air pollution, congestion and rely on us for their energy and water, as they have been given a distorted picture of what life is like in our beautiful and economically-vibrant region.”

PR consultant Sarah Hall was so angry she launched an online petition calling on the article’s author, Andy Beckett, to come back to the region for a follow-up.

“People are sick and tired of this beautiful area being badged as the grim North,” she said.