Edward Twiddy, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has warned that policy decisions being made in the coming months will be crucial for the future of the Durham region.
Speaking at Insider’s recent Durham Economic Forum, Twiddy said: “This is a key moment for the region as there are a number of decisions that we have to make that will be crucial in determining the future.
“One of the key elements of what we are doing is in regard to job creation. But it’s not just about creating new jobs – it’s about creating ‘better’ jobs.”
The Durham Economic Forum, which was sponsored by Durham University and law firm Swinburne Maddison and attracted more than 80 Durham businesses, government officials and professional advisers, heard from an expert panel of speakers.
Three leading Durham-based businesses spoke of their growth and export strategies, as well as issues they face in terms of recruitment and investment.
The audience also heard from Jonathan Walker, of the North East Chamber of Commerce, who highlighted the fact that there are “hidden gems” of businesses in Durham.
Stewart Watkins, who retired from his post as managing director of Business Durham earlier in the year, spoke of his new role as investment gateway manager for Invest North East England.
Part of the inward investment strategy for the new Combined Authority, Watkins explained the role of the investment gateway is to “act as a first port of call for inward investment enquiries and to create and build relationships with people”.
Watkins added that “there is a great opportunity for the business community in Durham to engage in this process.”
Newcastle University has a 40 year track record of international excellence and achievement in brain ageing and dementia – Professor David Burn responds to the Government announcement of extra funding for dementia research.
Responding to David Cameron’s announcement that the UK will double its annual funding for dementia research from £66m in 2015 to £132m by 2025, David Burn, Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology and Director of Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, commented:
“The Government’s announcement is a great boost to dementia research. We all need to step up to the plate and come up with new drugs and treatments to benefit patients with dementia.
“This will come about through good science, good research, and possibly a bit of luck too in terms of discoveries. We can deliver improved diagnosis, but ultimately the public want better treatments, and more research funding will go a long way towards achieving this.”
Newcastle’s research is interdisciplinary, on the major causes of dementia in later life with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment and ultimately preventing such conditions. It has the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Chronic Disease and the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Resrearch Unit on Lewy Body dementia.
It has also been awarded funding for an MRC Centre in Brain Ageing and Frailty and funding from MRC and ABBUK to support the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource (NBTR, ‘brain bank’).
Newcastle is recognised as a world-leading centre into these complex and disabling conditions which affect 160,000 people in the UK. Through the involvement of highly experienced clinicians and scientists the NIHR Newcastle BRU aims to improve our understanding of key disease symptoms and develop improved means of diagnosis, monitoring and treatment that will result in significant advances in patient management.