Plea for region to ditch ‘dependency culture’

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ONE of the North East’s leading businessmen says the region must become more independent to ensure its success.

Sir Ian Wrigglesworth has said the area must ditch a “dependency culture” which dates back generations. Sir Ian is helping to manage the new £1.4billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which could help generate a further £10billion of private investment.

The chairman of the Port of Tyne and deputy on the board of the RGF has the drawn parallels with the time of Lord Armstrong, the 19th-century industrialist, who he said would not have run to the Government for cash.

His comments were made on the last day for bids for the first £300million round of the fund set up to support private sector growth in regions worst hit by the public sector spending cuts. It is believed more than 36 bids have been submitted by the North East, with Sir Ian saying businesses stood a good chance of accessing the cash.

Four of those proposals have been made by Nissan. The North East has been invited to bid for the cash along with the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside and the West Midlands.