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The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) brought together top names in construction and engineering at an event this week at Durham Town Hall to discuss the role of civil engineering in supporting the economic recovery of the North East, transport priorities and the transport contribution to the North East LEP’s Economic Review.

Speakers included Nick Baveystock, director general, ICE; Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Northumbrian Water and member of the North East Economic Review, and Edward Twiddy, director of the North East LEP.

Ed Twiddy, North East LEP director said: “The ICE has always been an important partner and presence in the North East. The opportunity that Nick Baveystock’s visit presented to discuss their plans and the transport priorities of the NECC and regional CBI with Heidi Mottram, Don Curry and those leading on transport in the Adonis review was hugely valuable.

“It was very good to see that the North East LEP and ICE share a common approach. We must plan and prioritise, treating transport infrastructure as the enabler and connector rather than an end in its own right. Ambition is important but this does not necessarily mean that big is best; infrastructure investments must be driven by their impact on jobs and productivity.

“And when we have a list of projects we must invest upfront in the necessary preparatory work to turn the list into a programme of investment-ready propositions. That way we can be ready for opportunist moments when government is looking to invest at short notice, but much more importantly we will have a programme that delivers real long term benefits alongside short term construction jobs.”

Nick Baveystock discussed ICE’s State of the Nation Transport Call for Evidence: Heidi Mottram spoke about ‘A Business Perspective on Transport Priorities for the North East’, and Edward Twiddy explored transport’s role in supporting the economic recovery of the North East, referring to the North East Economic Review chaired by Lord Adonis.

Lord Adonis, chair of the North East economic review said: “Infrastructure is a critical element of the North East Economic Review and securing the right investment in transport will be a major catalyst for growth.

“The statement of priorities from the business community puts us in an excellent position to make the case for investment, and provides a clear focus for ministers and others making decisions on transport infrastructure.”

Guests at the event include Jason Boddy – ICE North East immediate past chairman and meeting chair, David Land – North East LEP, transport lead; Jonathan Spruce – ICE Transport panel; Tom Brown – ICE Flooding panel; Mike Coulson – ICE North East vice- chairman; John Jeffrey – The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and current ICE NE chairman; John Nielsen – Construction Industry Council (CIC) regional chairman; David Hodgson – Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) North East chairman; John Dickson – Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) North East chairman Richard Walker – Lead for North of England and Economic Growth in the Cities at Department for Transport; Tom Smyth – head of office for BIS in Yorkshire, Humber and the North East and Penny Marshall – ICE North East, interim regional director.

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 790246 or 07711 698 246

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