Today, the Gazette is joining newspapers across the region to spearhead a campaign, backed by local authorities and business leaders, to call for support to grow the North East economy.
NEvolution, a campaign created by North East editors, is designed to make the case for the North East ahead of the Spending Review later this month, sending out a clear message to Chancellor George Osborne that – with the right support – North East England is geared up to grow.
The campaign, which calls for greater devolution of powers and the redirection of funding into the North East, is described by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) as a positive and proactive initiative that makes a strong case for the economies of this area of the country.
In newspapers across the North East, NEvolution appeals to George Osborne to back the North East, devolving budgets and powers to local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships.
It is hoped that the campaign will help shape announcements made in the Chancellor’s Spending Review, on June 26.
Paul Watson, chairman of ANEC, said: “The NEvolution campaign is a unique and ground-breaking approach that celebrates the great things we have achieved across the whole of the North East, and makes the case for this area of the country to the Government.
“We are a capable, constructive collection of people in this part of the world. We know our strengths, we know the areas in which we need extra support, and, with the help of Government, we believe that we can make things even better, and grow our economies and the UK economy.”
NEvolution seeks to showcase to Westminster the benefits of acting on the Heseltine Report. No Stone Unturned, published in October 2012, looked at Government policy affecting economic growth and made a series of recommendations. A key part of Heseltine’s report was a recommendation to direct power to local areas and leaders, as those best placed to understand and to address the opportunities and obstacles to growth in their own communities
Colin Tapping, chairman of the Society of Editors Northern Region, said: “Newspapers across the region have put aside their rivalries to support a compelling case to the Chancellor on behalf of their communities.”