MGT Power issue call for expressions of interest

MGT Power will begin work on its large scale green energy plant on the Tees early next year.  The Tees Renewable Energy Plant is expected to create 835 jobs in construction and a further 100 in operations once the plant is up and running.  The plant will provide power for 600,000 homes and some local industry.

MGT has appointed Abengoa and Toshiba as preferred headline bidder on the £650 million project and hopes to attract local contractors to take up key sub contracting roles accross the site.  MGT are also looking to recruit a local workforce for the opperation of the plant.  The company has asked any interested contractors or potential workers to register their interest in the first instance by visiting


Case for Culture launched

NECC has supported the development of the North East of England’s Case for Culture, which was launched last week. The document was produced by the North East Culture Partnership, which is co-chaired by former NECC President John Mowbray. It sets out aspirations for how arts and culture can contribute to the region over the next 15 years and builds a case for investment in them.

The five aspirations set out in the document are:

  • Participation and reach
  • Children and young people
  • Talent and progression
  • Economic value
  • Creating a vibrant and distinctive region with an excellent quality of life.

The full document can be seen here.

Please give your view by leaving a comment on this blog or emailing


Posted in Regional policy by ross.smith. No Comments

BIS consults on Small Business Commissioner

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has launched a consultation on its proposals to establish a Small Business Commissioner to handle disputes – predominantly about late payment – between small businesses and larger businesses with which they have a contractual relationship.

The main functions of the Commissioner would be: providing information, advice and signposting; offering mediation to resolve disputes; and dealing with complaints.

The Commissioner is envisioned as supporting small businesses who feel that they have weaker bargaining power or are more vulnerable to unfair payment practices, and without the resources to challenge them. Where possible, BIS proposes that the Commissioner should be able to get involved at an early stage, when the prospect of retaining the two businesses’ relationship with each other is greatest.

The consultation requests feedback on the following issues:

  • Should the Commissioner focus exclusively on payment-related issues or also deal with wider supply-chain contractual issues?
  • How businesses would like to see a Commissioner operate to make it of most use in resolving disputes.
  • Evidence of unfair payment practices and the challenges encountered when trying to challenge payment terms.
  • What kind of unfair payment terms and practices do small businesses commonly encounter?

Full details of the consultation which closes on 21 August can be found here.

We would welcome the views of our members on this issue – please get in touch by contacting Rachel Travis.

Posted in Business Support by rachel.travis. No Comments

Protecting the term ‘apprenticeship’

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has launched a consultation on proposals to introduce legislation in the Enterprise Bill later this year to prevent misuse of the terms ‘apprenticeship’ and ‘apprentice’ by unauthorised training providers in England.

The proposals are to prohibit the use of the terms ‘apprenticeship’ and ‘apprentice’ in relation to any course or training that is not a Government-funded apprenticeship. Employers would not be prohibited from offering their own internal, fully funded apprenticeships, and would still be able to offer any type of training to their own employees and apprentices.

The consultation requests responses on the following questions:

  • Are you aware of any instances of the term ‘apprenticeship’ being used to advertise courses other than apprenticeships eligible for Government funding?
  • If ‘yes’, please provide any additional detail of such instances that might be relevant, particularly if it can help to indicate the scale of the issue.
  • Are there any unintended consequences that may arise as a result of this proposal?
  • If ‘yes’, please provide details of what unintended consequences there may be?
  • Do you have any other comments that might aid the consultation process as a whole?

Full details of the consultation, including an online response form, can be found here. The consultation closes on 19 August 2015.

We would welcome the views of our members on these proposals. If these proposals will affect your business or organisation, please get in touch by emailing or leave a comment below.

Posted in Uncategorized by jonathan.walker. No Comments

Devolution in North East LEP area

Following North East LEP area council leaders’ agreement to consider devolution structures including an elected mayor, positive initial discussions took place between the North East Combined Authority, the NELEP and members of the business community from both the CBI and NECC earlier this week.

We are pleased to see that initial proposals are broadly in line with our own position. A timetable of actions and consultations has been established between now and September, when NECA will present an outline of what we want the North East devolution deal to look like to Government.

The key challenge is to ensure how devolution fits into plans for growth rather than fitting growth into plans for devolution and to demonstrate to Government that the ambitious plans are from the whole community.

Please give your view by emailing