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The past year has seen some changes here at the North East LEP. We’ve welcomed Andrew Hodgson as the new Chair and strengthened our Board with a number of new appointments. We enter 2016-17 with a dynamic and experienced team working, in partnership with the business community, towards our aim of creating 100,000 more and better jobs here in the North East by 2024.

2015-16 brought some real highlights for the region’s economy: in November we announced the creation of a second Enterprise Zone to boost manufacturing, export and innovation. We also helped to ensure that £120m of business support funding in the form of the JEREMIE fund remained under local control, to be used solely to support North East companies.

The number of people aged between 16 and 64 in employment in the North East is at an all-time high (70.6% in November 2015 – January 2016) and 1.2 million people in the region are now in work. This is the highest recorded figure.

These are just some of the successes which we’ve seen here in the area and we’re building on these achievements and moving forward with our implementation of the region’s Strategic Economic Plan, focusing on the key areas of business growth, innovation and skills.

You can read more about our work over the past year, and our ambitions for the next, in our annual review.

Helen Golightly, Chief Operating Officer

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