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Harnessing North East Devolution

Credit: Allan McPhail, Helidragon

Matt Beeton, Chief Executive

Matt Beeton, Chief Executive | Port of Tyne

4 min read Partner content

The Port of Tyne maps out an ambitious vision for the North East – a craving for greater collective ambition to make best use of the region’s natural assets. A new delivery master plan.

The recent mayoral election heralds a new era for the North East. 

In Kim McGuiness we have a standard-bearer to champion our proud region.  Pushing our strengths – domestically and on the global stage – to secure critical investment in infrastructure and skills to support the delivery of the nascent green industries of tomorrow.

In the face of geopolitical headwinds, there's a growing momentum behind the development of reindustrialisation strategies.  Over the next three years, the Capgemini Research Institute forecasts a staggering $3.4 trillion investment in reshoring and decarbonising of supply chains across the USA and Europe, presenting a prime opportunity for the North East.

Spanning from the Scottish border to County Durham, our region boasts world-class universities and innovation hubs, fostering a thriving ecosystem in critical sectors like automotive, advanced manufacturing, health, life sciences and creative industries.  Bolstered by a robust distribution network, the North East stands out as a net exporter of goods, with an economy exceeding £40 billion.

The future holds immense promise, whether in advancing battery technology, electrification, sustainable fuels, renewables or hydrogen.  With a strong devolution settlement, the North East is now uniquely positioned to leverage its strengths and forge a path towards a prosperous future, revitalising domestic supply chains in the process.

Historically, our region has been synonymous with industrial prowess, embodying a spirit of innovation and resilience that endures to this day.  Now, as we confront challenges like climate change and the need for resilient supply chains, the North East is poised to lead the charge towards a sustainable future.

At the heart of this vision lies the recognition of our strategic advantages.  From our rich industrial heritage to our abundant and beautiful natural resources, the North East possesses the necessary ingredients for economic transformation.  With a skilled workforce, thriving business network and first class digital infrastructure, we are primed to lead innovation across key sectors.

From the next generation of vehicles at Nissan to the expanding offshore wind footprint, the North East is positioned for further growth and prominence on the world stage.  Our new Mayor will amplify our investment proposition, tailoring strategies to the unique needs and strengths of our region, fostering agility and responsiveness in a fiercely competitive market.

The North East will play a pivotal role, as we navigate the transition to a greener economy.  With our extensive coastline, strategic location and 5G enabled smart port assets, we are poised to become a hub for renewable energy and advanced sustainable technologies.  Initiatives like the Green Superport promise to revolutionise our seaports along the Blyth, Tyne and Wear, enhancing connectivity and bolstering our logistics sector's competitiveness in the face of fierce international competition.

Combined with Newcastle International Airport, the Green Superport could unlock synergies, maximising global connectivity and domestic distribution networks, which will further enhance our appeal to investors looking for a clear route to market.  With concerted effort and strategic foresight, the North East can emerge as a leader in the green industries of tomorrow, leveraging the power of devolution to drive regional growth and prosperity.

With the opportunity for some of the biggest inward investment projects the Port has seen in decades, we need all partners – private and public – to match our ambition for what can be achieved.  The North East can forge a new era with “Made in Britain” firmly embossed on tomorrow’s turbines, batteries or vehicles.

The recent mayoral election marks a new chapter in our journey, providing a unified approach and a clarity of purpose.  The task ahead is clear and businesses like the Port of Tyne wholeheartedly support our new Mayor in this endeavour.  Together, we will forge a future where the North East competes on the world stage for the significant inward investment opportunities forecast to land in the years ahead.

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