Our Economy

A report on the region's economic performance

Our Economy report

Our Economy is our annual update on how the North East economy is performing and giving an update on progress against the SEP targets. You can read the full report here and an Executive Summary of the full report is available here.

We also take a deep dive into a key theme that is particularly relevant to the economy. For this first annual update, we focused on the North East’s role in the global economy, an important topic as we prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union and with trade a strong focus in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

The publication of Our Economy also marked the launch of the North East Data Hub in partnership with the North East Combined Authority (NECA). 

The North East Data Hub is an online platform designed to bring together all of the key data about the North East and to provide tools to help residents, businesses, education establishments and policy makers to make use of the data available in a simple way.

It has been developed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the North East Combined Authority, with support from transport authorities – NEXUS, TADU and UTMC.

Launch event

We launched the Our Economy report on March 6th, 2018. The event focused on the role of the North East in the global economy and involved a panel of speakers from business, universities and government.

View our event review page to learn about the launch.

The content

Reflecting the broad range of factors that affect the North East economy, the Our Economy report is a lengthy document.  We appreciate that not everyone is interested in the full document – so you can select the sections you are most interested in below.  

Welcome and introduction

This section sets out the purpose of the report, the approach we have taken to compiling the evidence base and provides an overview of the key findings

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Performance of our economy

The section provides an update on progress against the Strategic Economic Plan targets and an overview of the performance of our economy

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SEP programmes of delivery

There are six programmes of delivery in the SEP. We have gathered the evidence base for each of our delivery programmes and given an overview of the data available, looking at key topics in more depth. In addition, we have indicated the next steps which are needed for further progress to be made.

Business growth and access to finance

This section covers business births, deaths, growths, access to finance, international trade and inward investment


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In this section, you can read about innovation activity in business, expenditure and employment in R&D, and patents, trademarks and design and research specialisms

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We cover skills in the economy, labour supply, qualifications and the alignment between labour supply and demand

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Employability and inclusion

This section covers economic inactivity, unemployment, inclusion and quality employment opportunities

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Economic assets and infrastructure

In this section, we talk about housing and other progress in enterprise zones and local plans

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Transport and digital connectivity

Covering public investment in transport, metro, rail, bus, road freight, air transport, and walking and cycling

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Areas of opportunity and enabling sectors

The SEP sets out four areas of opportunity and three enabling sectors that support the North East economy. In this section, you can view details of the key assets of each including mapping of key employment sites and assets. 

The North East in the global economy

This section sets out the connections between the North East and the rest of the world. It is important that partners across the North East work to strengthen international linkages and support businesses to maximise the opportunity that international markets bring to our region. In this section you can find details on:

  • The role of trade
  • The importance of foreign owned businesses
  • International migration
  • The international nature of universities and colleges
  • The role of EU funding
  • International connectivity

You can find this information here.


Where can I find out more about the targets in the Strategic Economic Plan and how we are performing against them?

You can find information on all of our targets here. The North East LEP is constantly reviewing progress against the targets as new data emerges and publishing regular updates on the news section of this website.

How was the SEP developed?

The first version of the Strategic Economic Plan was published in April 2014. It followed on from the North East Independent Economic Review and set out a high level vision for the economy and included investment programmes for Local Growth Fund and European funds which were available at that time.

The SEP was refreshed during 2016 and launched in March 2017 following an extensive consultation involving businesses and economic partners. The refresh process enabled the region to reflect on new economic data following the end of the recession and the changing economic policy environment including the decision to leave the European Union.