In Business growth and finance

An event chaired by Lord Don Curry to discuss land markets in the North East LEP area brought together key property professionals in the public and private sectors in January at Durham Town Hall. The debate fed into the North East LEP’s North East Economic Review’s evidence base.

High calibre delegates from business and local authorities aimed to identify the pressures on housing, office, industrial, retail and renewable energy development which impact on viability and deliverability of schemes across Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear.

The event asked what are the key issues for housing, office, industrial, retail and renewable energy developments now and in the future, and what measures need to be put in place to overcome these.

Delegates also looked at how land markets and developments contribute to economic growth in the North East area and ask where the strategic locations for development should be located across the North East LEP area moving forward?

Lord Curry is a member of the review team of the North East Economic Review, chaired by Lord Adonis. He is chairman of the NFU Mutual Insurance, and was formerly a Defra sustainable food and farming adviser. He also advised Waitrose/John Lewis on food and agriculture issues. He has a 440 acre farm in Northumberland.

Speakers at the day-long event included Philip Barnes, Newcastle Office Leader, NLP and Neil Graham, Head of Economic Assets NE, Homes and Communities Agency. Adam Serfontein, managing director, Hanro Group, Caroline Strugnell, planning manager, Bellway Homes, David Furniss, Head of the Newcastle office of BNP Paribas and Miles Crossley, Business Development Manager, Banks Group will lead sessions during the event.

Professor Henry Overman, a member of the Economic Review’s expert panel of distinguished academics and researchers, will also be speaking at the event. Professor Overman heads economic geography at the London School of Economics and is director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre.

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East LEP said: “This was a key event in our series of seminars which bring together the region’s businesses to provide evidence for the economic review. Developments across the area face challenges of an elongated economic downturn, and this seminar will undoubtedly spark lively debate about the way forward for land markets and development in our area.”

The North East LEP commissioned an economic review, led by Lord Adonis, to look at the long term economic growth in the area to 2030. Lord Adonis and the review team will produce a concise report in Spring 2013 setting out five policy recommendations for the North East LEP, five policy recommendations for key LEP partners in the North East, and five policy recommendations for central government.

The expert panel is reviewing and assessing evidence in six cross cutting themes, framed to meet the strategic objectives of the North East LEP. These are:- the North East in UK, European and global markets, labour markets and skills, infrastructure and land markets, private and social enterprise, capital markets and public policy.

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 790246 OR 07711 698246.

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