Sunday Times Economics Editor experiences enterprising North East economy first-hand with Recognition PR

20/03/2014

Graham writes ……It was a great pleasure to host a visit to the North East from the respected Sunday Times economics editor, David Smith. David writes his Economic Outlook column every Sunday and has correctly predicted the economy’s track for 25 years.

David is also highly influential; he is the assistant editor of the Sunday Times and is involved in the preparation of the newspaper’s leader pages/ the economy.

People who are influential need to see events on the ground in order to reach fully formed opinions. Too often the North East is subject to stereotypical thinking and opinions are passed on which are not based on facts. Not in David’s case. He was really impressed by the enterprise and initiative being shown in the region and left with a wider understanding of some of the challenges we face and the solutions that we are adopting.

I took him to Durham to see the developments on the River Wear, where the former ice rink is being replaced by high quality offices. At a dinner for business leaders hosted by Carillion Developments and Arlington Real Estate, David (pictured above with Arlington's Allan Cook and Neil McMillan from Carillion) met some of the Business Durham executives behind the Hitachi inward investment.

The next day was budget day and Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, gave David a trip around Teesside including an aerial view of the area’s industry from Foster Wheeler’s office on the 17th floor of Centre North East. From there he could see the Hartlepool Power Station, the diversification of former shipyards on the River Tees, the newly fired up Redcar blast furnace and the Wilton chemical complex. TVU gave an expert briefing on carbon capture.

From there it was to Tees University’s Darlington Campus for a live feed of The Budget with 100 business leaders.

It was a very productive visit, which he referred to in the Sunday Times the following week. It is good that the North East knows a high profile economic commentator who has seen its offering first hand and is a friend of the region in that he now understands the challenges we face.



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