Cash boost for exports bid

A £3.6m boost has been announced for the North-East’s bid to become the “jewel” in the UK’s export crown.

Three of the region’s leading business support companies have been given the money in their battle to boost exports.

The great news has been revealed for a consortium of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), innovation firm RTC North and the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) – which represents companies in areas including Seal Sands.

It has been awarded a £3.6m contract by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to deliver export services across the region.

The new deal came into effect yesterday and will aim to get small and medium-sized companies from the North East involved in global business.

The contract will also mean firms getting more help to identify overseas markets, assistance to improve their export strategies, and coaching programmes.

David Coppock, the head of UKTI for the North-East, said the project would “help us take North East exports to the next level.”

NECC chief executive James Ramsbotham said: “This is great news for North-East exporters. Our partnership with RTC North and NEPIC is founded on a combined will to drive up exports in our region and meet the Chancellor’s challenge to double UK exports by 2020.”

RTC North chief executive Gordon Ollivere said the UK needed to add at least £20bn to the value of its exports by 2030.

“To help achieve this, we will need to re-focus on what we produce here in the UK, creating an innovative knowledge-driven economy that creates new high value products we can sell around the world,” he added.

NEPIC chief executive Dr Stan Higgins said the aim was to “make the North-East region the jewel in the crown in the UKTI portfolio.”