Written by Guy Currey, Director, Invest North East England.
As Director of Invest North East England I’d have to say I’m one of those lucky people that really enjoys what they do.
An adopted Geordie, I’m originally from York, I fell in love with the region when I first came here in 1997 and it’s been home ever since.
One of the best bits of my job is showing potential investors around the North East; helping them see and understand our strengths as a leading destination for new businesses, but also as a great place to live thanks to our beautiful towns, cities, coast and countryside.
Not everyone can visit in person to see, first hand, why North East England has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, which is why we’ve developed a series of short films celebrating the region, its sector strengths and its status as one of the best places in the UK to invest and do business.
We premiered the first of our six showcase films on Thursday 14 February to coincide with launch of the North East LEP’s updated Strategic Economic Plan, and I’m proud to say it generated hundreds of views in just a few hours. You can view it now on our website: https://investnortheastengland.co.uk/videos/north-east-england-works/ Providing an overview of North East England, it demonstrates why investors should be looking to our region as the best place in the UK to live, learn, work and invest.
The film really captures the vibrancy of our economy and highlights some of our key sectors, including tech and digital, and advanced manufacturing. It would be impossible to showcase all we have to offer in one, two and half minute film, which is why Invest North East England has developed a further five short films, each focusing on one of our key regional sector strengths: advanced manufacturing and automotive; digital and tech; financial, professional and business services; energy; and life sciences.
Each film includes key facts about the sector and highlights leading businesses based here in North East England. They also show some of our key regional assets, including our impressive business parks and other property assets, our five universities, three ports, International airport, excellent rail connectivity, and world-class visitor attractions.
We’ll be launching the sector videos throughout February and March and they’ll play a key role in helping us market the destination across the UK and indeed, the world.
In total we visited more than 30 different businesses across the region, from Osbit and the Port of Blyth in Northumberland right down to Atom Bank in County Durham. It was genuinely inspiring to see the wealth of talent we have in North East England and how our strengths in key sectors is helping us compete on a global level.
In Northumberland, for example, world-class R&D and testing facilities, such The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, are leading the way in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. Thanks to our skilled workforce, outstanding infrastructure and strong supply chain, our region is well placed to capitalise on the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.
North East England has the UK’s fastest growing digital tech cluster outside London and we’ve been able to bring the sector to life as part of our new suite of films. From Hammerhead and Bede Gaming to ZeroLight and the National Innovation Centre for Data, our region is continuing to drive innovation and support the development of more new, entrepreneurial businesses.
One of the most exciting new developments in our tech sector has been the opening of PROTO: The Emerging Technology Centre, which opened in Gateshead last year. Europe’s first dedicated centre for emerging technology, it’s another feather in the cap for North East England.
Despite concerns around Brexit, advanced manufacturing and automotive will continue to strengthen the North East economy. Nissan remains committed to the region, helping make us the number one car producing region in the UK, and our pharmaceuticals and medicine manufacturing sector continues to go from strength to strength. Our sector video is a timely reminder of the global companies that have chosen to invest in our region.
I hope that gives you a flavour of what to expect as we roll out our videos over the next two months. We’re continuing to receive fantastic feedback on our first film and I hope the sector videos continue to inspire, enthuse and excite everyone that sees them.
Please do share them with colleagues, clients and anyone interested in knowing more about our economy in North East England. You’ll be able to find them on our website on this link: https://investnortheastengland.co.uk/videos/ and through our social media feeds.
Inward investment has a hugely important role in our ambitions to grow the North East economy. Organisations like Developing Consensus, which bring the public and private sector together, are helping support the work of Invest North East England and contributing to shaping the regional approach to inward investment.
Let’s shout louder about our strengths and encourage more businesses to call the North East home.