‘Give us what we need to build a bright future for Sunderland’ – North East’s plea to George Osborne

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson
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CHANCELLOR George Osborne has been urged to give the North East the funding it needs to build a brighter future.

The Echo-backed NEvolution campaign, which urges the Chancellor to give the region greater control over its own destiny, is reminding the Government that the North East has proved it can be trusted to deliver with devolved funding and flexible financing.

The region has been particularly successful in attracting investment from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), and using such grants wisely.

Sunderland City Council has worked to secure funding from the RGF for companies such as Nissan, TRW, Lear, Vantec Europe, Unipres and Calsonic Kansei.

Council leader Paul Watson said: “The future economic strength of the North East lies in playing to its strengths, and one of its distinctive qualities is the buoyancy of its export market.

“Sunderland is leading the way in contributing to the region’s UK-leading export figures, with the region’s biggest exporting company, Nissan, expanding to produce 600,000 vehicles this year.

“Nissan’s record-breaking performance is having a positive effect on its supply chain, many of which are located in the city.

“This in turn will have an impact on the wider region, boosting the North East’s business economy.

“Sunderland’s City Deal will extend the export drive to create a focus on the advanced manufacturing sector, with proposals for a major manufacturing park in partnership with South Tyneside which will generate wealth and spread the benefits of manufacturing growth.

“Sunderland has worked with the North East LEP’s Growing Places scheme and European Regional Development Fund to fund the planned transformation of the former Vaux brewery site into a city centre business district, which will complement the out-of-town success of the city’s Doxford, Sunderland Enterprise Park and Evolve business centres.

“If decision-making powers are devolved to this region, it will boost regeneration and development across all sectors by driving momentum in key sectors and strengthening powerful partnerships across the North East.”