North East business leaders call for more help

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BUSINESS leaders have urged the Government to do more to help regenerate the region’s economy.

The North East Chamber of Commerce has outlined its manifesto for 2012.

It is calling for faster cuts to red tapes, tax breaks for companies to take on apprentices and a shake-up to policies that could harm big manufacturers.

Chamber president John Mowbray said ministers need to start allowing firms to fulfil their potential rather than thinking of the region’s economy as a problem.

Outlining the group’s 16-point plan, he said: “If we are to maximise the North East’s excellent export performance and build on key regional strengths in manufacturing, then our businesses must be empowered to innovate, sell and invest more, and generate greater welath in this part of the UK.

“For these reasons, we will in 2012 challenge our members, local enterprise partnerships, local authorities and other public agencies, and the Government to do more to strengthen the North East’s private sector.”

The chamber has pledged to campaign for greater investment in transport links, including more electric car-charging points and changes to aviation taxes.

It also wants to see assets from the soon-to-be-defunct regional development agency One North East to be pumped back into local businesses.