Comment: North East England successful in bid to deliver three High Potential Opportunities (HPO) projects which will support inward investment in to the region

By Guy Currey, Director, Invest North East England

I am thrilled with this week’s announcement that the North East has been successful in its bid to the Department for International Trade (DIT) to deliver three High Potential Opportunities (HPO) documents which will support inward investment opportunities in to our region.

19 new HPOs have been selected across the UK in the second round of the programme following bids from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).   It’s great that the North East has secured three of these projects in healthy ageing; plant based products and heat networks (the latter in partnership with Tees Valley).

The HPO documents will be used to showcase the North East’s strengths in these key sectors to international investors in more than 177 cities around the world via DIT’s global network.

Over the next year, Invest North East England will work with the North East LEP, Local Authorities, regional partners and DIT to deliver these HPO documents. 

This is fantastic news for North East England, and demonstrates that our sector strengths in ageing, energy and plant-based foods have the potential to drive forward our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by bringing investment into the region.

These three particular sectors of industry were chosen by DIT because of the expertise, skills and talent we have in the North East.

Key sites like Newcastle Helix, home to the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) and NETPark have helped position the North East as the leading destination for research and innovation in healthy ageing. 

The energy sector in the North East England is thriving, and our global reputation has already attracted some of the industry’s biggest companies to the region. DIT will be showcasing the North East’s world-leading ecosystem in energy, engineering, and manufacturing.

Plant-Based Valley in Northumberland and the V-Bites vegan food business based in Peterlee has helped the North East become a pioneer in the growing plant-based product market. This is an emerging opportunity for the North East and its selection for the HPO programme reinforces its potential.

The North East already has a HPO for Immersive Technology, which was produced in the first round of the programme and it has helped to significantly raise the profile of the region to overseas investors within the DIT global network. 

I am very much looking forward to working on these HPOs alongside our local partners to help deliver the programme and ultimately promote the region as a location for businesses to locate and prosper.      

For further information on all of the UK’s High Potential Opportunities, visit Department for International Trade

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