Minister outlines plan to emerge from recession
INVESTMENT in technology will see the North East emerge fighting from the recession, a Government minister has told The Journal.
Science minister Lord Paul Drayson has urged academics, businesses and regional leaders to work together on innovative ideas which will give us a prosperous future. He said the whole of the UK should look to the North Easts renaissance following the recession of the early 1990s for an example of how to turn hard economic times into advantage.
And he stressed the region has the capacity to lead the financial recovery of the whole country. Lord Drayson was on a One North East-organised visit to Newcastles Centre for Life and the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) in Blyth, where he found out about pioneering science in the region. He said: I think the North East can be a real engine for the growth of the economy.
A fantastic job has been done here. This is a sector which went through really difficult change in the previous recession, but as a result of that the region has thought about its strengths so that going into this recession it had already invested in its capability. I think the North East can be a really prosperous region in the future. The fact this has been backed up by big companies like Nissan making investments here is evidence of that.
Lord Drayson said the North East has the opportunity to forge a reputation for world-class science and research and place itself in a prime position to capitalise on the boom industries of renewables and healthcare.
Last week Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe announced plans for a s100m wind turbine research centre in the region which could create 1,500 jobs. A fortnight ago American firm Clipper revealed it was moving into a factory in Walker Riverside, in Newcastles East End, where it will build turbine blades.
Nissan is also investing s200m at its Sunderland plant where it will produce batteries for electric vehicles. But Lord Drayson, who as defence minister ended the tradition of shipbuilding on the Tyne by removing Swan Hunters final naval ship when it was half finished, said academics, business leaders and politicians needed to work together to not only think up great ideas but develop and market them too.