The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has again voted to hold interest rates at 0.5% and maintain Quantitative Easing at £375bn. Details of the announcement can be seen here. This matches the view of the North East Shadow MPC, which NECC runs in partnership with Waltons Clark Whitehill and The Northern Echo. Further details on the decision of the Shadow MPC can be found here.
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The Northern Tourism Alliance, in association with Visit England and Visit County Durham, is planning workshops to help tourism businesses face the challenges associated with bad weather.
Although the North East has escaped the worse of the recent bad weather, the tourism industry has been affected in the past. Visit England has recently announced funding for support for tourism businesses affected now or in the future by extreme weather conditions. Two practical workshops are planned to help businesses increase resilience, be well insured, communicate with customers and continue operating when affected by bad weather.
The events are taking place on Thursday 13th March, MacDonald Linden Hall Hotel, Northumberland and Monday 17th March, Durham Town Hall, Durham. The workshops start at 10am and finish at 3pm and are free to attend.
More information, and instructions on how to register, can be found by following this link:
NECC is launching a research project into North East Innovation. The concept of the project is to showcase the best of North East Innovation and show how it can be better fostered to enhance the regions reputation as a great place to do business. The project will be in cooperation with four key partners; BT, Bond Dickinson, Gateshead College and Virgin Money and the project will be spearheaded by Teesside University. The project will consist of research, business interaction and case studies which will all be combined to create a final report and supplementary document highlighting the best of North East Innovation which will be launched to tie in with the NECCs existing 50 Great reasons campaign. The aims of the project are to developing a better understanding of innovation, what we are already doing and how this can further benefit the North East and in turn national economy.
Innovation seems to be the buzz word of this government, numerous announcements have been made, various schemes and pots of funding put in place all to help encourage innovation. The government see innovation as fundamental to help drive the UK economy forward and the reasons for this are simple, essentially companies and countries which can innovate quickly are likely to gain the most benefit and stay competitive in an ever increasing global market. Innovation isn’t always technology based and the project will identify the best of North East Innovation for Products, Processes, Service and Technology. Innovation is one of the North Easts biggest strengths and there are lots of great things going on in the region and it is time to shout about these and showcase how our region is leading the way through innovation to ensure greater commercial exploitation. Putting a spotlight on the best of North East innovation is vital to drive the economic growth of the area.
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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced an online ABC guide to help dispel health and safety myths for small firms. The ABC guide was produced with the needs of SMEs in mind to help businesses manage health and safety risks sensibly, while avoiding the time consuming and expensive process of complying with unnecessary regulations. The guide includes:
A. Health and safety made simple
B. Health ans safety toolbox
C. Online risk assessments
Responsible businesses take steps to comply with health and safety regulations and it is crucial that their regulatory responsibilities are measured, appropriate and clearly communicated. Reducing the burden of regulation is not just about the number of regulations, but also ensuring that all regulations are necessary and consistently enforced. Therefore, the new ABC toolkit is a welcome initiative that will hopefully clarify businesses’ regulatory duties and allow firms to concentrate on job and wealth creation.
The accompanying press release from the HSE can be seen here.
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NECC has responded to an inquiry by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee into the work of Arts Council England. NECC highlighted the importance of culture in regeneration in the North East over the past 20 years and its role in the regional economy, acknowledging the crucial role the Arts Council has played in this. However, we highlighted a stark disparity in the funding going to London compared to other regions, and the contrast with the stated aim of rebalancing growth between regions. We also raised concerns about a recent reorganisation of the Arts Council reducing the capacity to continue its work in the North East to the same level as previously. Our full response can be seen here.
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