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Andrew Hodgson, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:

“The people of the North East clearly voted to leave the European Union (EU).

“While we acknowledge this decision by the electorate, the North East LEP is very aware of the many ways in which this region has benefited from being a member of the EU.

“This has included access to European trade and investment and European funding, which has helped to regenerate our towns and cities, support business growth and investment in science and support many of our rural stakeholders including farmers.

“We are now urgently seeking assurances from the Government that it will help us reduce the impact of leaving the single market in terms of funding, jobs and investment.

“The North East is the only UK region with a positive balance of trade. Working with our public and private sector partners our focus must be on maintaining this status quo and supporting those who will be most affected by the decision to leave.”

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Rob Storey, Enterprise Adviser