Support is already growing for fight to boost prosperity

Northumberland County Council and businesses have given their backing to the NEvolution campaign.

Northumberland is home to an array of national and international business, with the council keen to support companies and attract organisations to invest in the county.

Council officials say NEvolution is an opportunity to show what is already being done and highlight the huge potential for economic growth by creating the right conditions in the region.

Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, has been created by the council to help businesses make the most of what the county has to offer.

Thriving sectors in the county include renewable energy, advanced engineering, healthcare, food and drink, and the service industry.

While in south east Northumberland, some of the big name companies include American Air Filters, Advanced Electronics Ltd and Renown Engineering (all in Cramlington) as well as Draeger Safety UK and Narec in Blyth, with the latter investing £150m in its facilities.

Plans are afoot to develop Blyth Estuary further as a centre of excellence in renewable energy and research to help attract government funding.

New industries have also shown there are people with the right skills in the county, with hundreds of jobs being created by Aesica and MSD in Cramlington, Piramal Healthcare UK in Morpeth, Covance Laboratories in Alnwick, and Prudhoe-based SCM and The Specials Laboratory.

Dr Robert Hardy, chief executive of Aesica and an Arch board member, said: “Aesica has been able to realise its ambitions for growth in Northumberland with access to a skilled and loyal employment base and we will continue to invest in its future.

“As a board member for Arch, I am also part of the wider business community in Northumberland and it’s encouraging to see investment in the county through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and the ERDF providing grants to businesses, apprenticeship training and programmes to support entrepreneurs and new ventures.”

Supporting smaller businesses across the county is also very important to the council.

There is a drive to roll-out superfast broadband across the county while work is ongoing to help develop apprenticeships.

A council spokesperson said: “We hope the NEvolution campaign will convince decision makers in government that Northumberland is geared up to grow with the right investment and opportunities.”