North East needs new ‘front door’ to bring in investment

James Ramsbotham
James Ramsbotham
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The North East needs a new “front door.”

That’s the message from the North East Chamber of Commerce and CBI, which want to see a single entry point to attract more foreign investors.

Both organisations believe a single entry point into the North East is a more efficient and effective approach to foreign direct investment (FDI), with investors presented with “One Front Door” to the region.

Chamber Chief Executive James Ramsbotham said: “The ‘One Front Door’ report represents a collective view from a broad spectrum of businesses and sets out how they feel this must be addressed regionally to maximise our potential as a world class business location with world class firms.

“It is vital inward investors receive a fully coherent approach, which makes the most of the opportunities that exist in all parts of North East England.

“There are real concerns from business that the current “UK First” policy fails to make the most of assets and advantages present right across our region, in order to maximise overall economic benefit from FDI.

“Regional geographical advantages are not being optimised. These include capacity in land or natural resources, transport connections, or proximity to specific sites such as offshore oil, gas or wind energy zones. There is also an absence of regional targets.

“The current approach must be amended, with greater regional expertise, more effective targeting and better links between national and regional agencies.”

CBI North East chairman Alison Thain said: “The North East has an impressive record of foreign direct investment which has resulted in thousands of jobs for the region. For each job created there are on average four further jobs in the local supply chain.

“Business is clear about what needs to be achieved and the size of the prize for the region.”