Supporting rural growth in the North East LEP area

Rural areas seem to raising up the regional development agenda. In this blog Dinah Jackson, Programme Manager for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership looks to the future.

Place is important when it comes to encouraging investment and sustainable economic development across the North East LEP area. Our Strategic Economic Plan acknowledges the diversity of our rural economy and the rural communities which provide for a huge range of businesses, enterprise and educational establishments and which contribute to our ambition to increase the number of jobs in the North East by 100,000 by 2024, with 70% of these being better jobs, defined as managerial, professional and technical.

Significant changes in the global economy present opportunities for the North East because of our assets, skills and industries which are represented across our rural and urban economy.

Through our rural businesses and industries, we can demonstrate how digitalisation can transform the economy and society through digital adoption and connectivity, new service and business models and maximising the potential of our research and business assets.

We have an ageing population in the rural North East but can respond to this and improve health through innovation. Businesses in the rural economy also have the capability to play a role in shaping the future of areas of strategic importance including manufacturing, with innovation happening already in notable areas of manufacturing technology.

Our natural assets and the surge in innovation in energy technologies in our rural economy play out our commitment to tackling climate change and promoting clean growth.

We are an outward-facing economy with strong national and international links, and our rural business base is well positioned to capitalise on market opportunities overseas, utilising business support and networks to expand international markets and operations. And with the positive impacts on business growth that can derive from exporting, there continues to be a strong role for rural businesses to scaleup, contributing to our goal to increase the density of scaleup businesses in the North East by 50% by 2024, delivering new jobs and assisting people, regardless of where they live, to play an active part in our thriving regional economy.

When it comes down to supporting business, we are clear on our ambition for the North East to be a growth-oriented, dynamic and productive environment where businesses invest, grow and thrive. We want business leaders to be inspired and supported to achieve their goals through strengthened leadership, innovation and trade. And we know just how innovative and creative rural businesses can be, irrespective of their particular sector, and the opportunities to support that innovation, creativity and drive.

We are here, through the North East Growth Hub and our Growth Hub Provider Network to support rural businesses to find the support and finance they need to grow, and grow strongly, whether that be through specific leadership support and mentoring for growth, tailored account management for scaleup businesses, assistance with diversification in to new markets and supply chains, or impartial guidance through Growth Hub Connect and the wealth of resources available through the North East Growth Hub.

We look forward to strengthening our offer to rural businesses, raising levels of business growth ambition and connecting you with the right solutions, be they business support, finance, funding or networks, and supporting you to prepare for, and take advantage of the global changes that present significant economic and business opportunities now and in the future. 

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