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Invest Newcastle Director addresses DIB audience

Why there is so much more besides football for Newcastle and the North East to be positive about.

This week, Downtown in Business hosted a ‘by invitation only’ breakfast event with Director of Invest Newcastle and Head of Economic Development at Newcastle City Council, Jennifer Hartley.

Jen covered a wide range of topics and touched on the success of recent events such as MIPIM and UKREiiF with Newcastle taking a strong private sector cohort to Cannes and Leeds this year with some positive outcomes.

Newcastle and the North East are seeing huge success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, with the region topping the charts for job creation per capita for FDI into the UK last year. Furthermore, Newcastle won best FDI Strategy for Mid-sized European cities by FDI out at MIPIM.

Jen highlighted how they are currently reviewing their investor proposition to position Newcastle as ‘the home of Impact Investment’ to align with the principles of the city council’s economic strategy into future investments to ensure that future developments provide maximum social value and community impact.

Despite the many successes, it was highlighted that further devolution would further benefit the region and it was agreed around the table that a mayoral model and combined authority had given the private sector confidence the region was now on the same page, with the candidates to be announced in the coming months.

It was also agreed that the opportunity around Life Sciences could be a game changer and the success of The Helix and recent announcement that the city is looking for an investor to accelerate the growth of North East England’s £1.7bn life science eco-system was a real positive for the region.

It was hard not to touch on football with Newcastle United this week qualifying for the Champions League football for the first time in 20 years. Not only will this bring the obvious economic benefits to the city, but the profile it brings to the region on a global stage is immeasurable and will again drive investment.

Downtown in Business, Managing Director, Chris McKenna commented ‘It was a pleasure to hear from Jen this morning. There is such a buzz in the city with so much going on. Huge thanks to The Crowne Plaza Hotel for their superb hospitality’.

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