Leading North East business and sector growth in a changing landscape

Change brings the opportunity to innovate and improve. Colin Bell, Director of Business and Sector Growth at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP), explains how business support in the region is evolving.

The North East LEP and the North East Growth Hub are recognised as national exemplars, with many others learning from and adopting our methodologies, tools and systems.

Our team have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and the EU exit with over 57,000 engagements with businesses to help them survive, revive and recover and in doing so improve the productivity performance of businesses receiving intensive support by over £9,000 per employee (measured as GVA per employee).

In addition, we have led sector growth in energy, tech, health and life sciences, working with partners to create and deliver ambitious plans and claim a global foothold. As businesses continue to face economic headwinds, we will continue to support the development of an ecosystem that will help them to tackle the issues of today, to chart a route to the future and to achieve their ambitions.

The role of the North East LEP is however changing and we are transitioning to a new environment set out by Government in the Levelling Up white paper. As the exact parameters of this landscape are still emerging, it’s critical that we adopt an agile and flexible approach that can be quickly adapted to the changing environment.

Within this is an opportunity to sharpen our focus and to drive forward a more impactful and modern approach that delivers more for less.

A key opportunity in the emerging landscape is to embed innovation across all aspects of strategy and delivery. It’s our collective innovativeness that builds regional competitiveness, that drives business and sector growth and claims our foothold in emerging global markets.

We also recognise that if innovation lies at the heart of our economic competitiveness, then as a LEP and through our partnerships we too must embody an innovative approach and culture. We therefore see change as an opportunity on which to build on our strong foundation and to reimagine and realign our approach to add maximum value.

Opportunities include:

  • Refocusing the one-to-one support available through the North East Growth Hub’s triage team, meaning that any person or business requiring information, support or guidance can access it.
  • Adopting modern and innovative business models to create a flexible platform to deliver a more streamlined, cohesive, and impactful customer journey.
  • Boosting our sector leadership by applying more resource to work closely with businesses to lead the development and delivery of ambitious sector strategies in energy, tech, health and life sciences, advanced manufacturing and knowledge-intensive business services, including the introduction of specialist sector-focused Growth Hub Connectors to support businesses.
  • Embedding innovation across all of our activities to ensure that we spread a culture of challenge-based and collaborative innovation and focusing partnerships on capturing first mover advantage in global emerging markets in which the North East demonstrates competitive strength.

In addition, we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with Government to shape the forthcoming Enterprise Strategy and to deliver national initiatives locally such as Made Smarter and the Net Zero Hub on behalf of the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

We look to the future with confidence and are embracing the opportunities that comes with change to continue to drive the creation of more and better jobs for the people of the North East.

We are here to support businesses to start, innovate and grow. Find out what support is available for your business via NorthEastGrowthHub.co.uk

Credit: Bdaily 

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