I love living in the North East. It’s a fantastic place steeped in culture, history and areas of outstanding natural beauty. What’s more, it provides many opportunities for people of all backgrounds in which to thrive.

As a long term resident of Newcastle, I think it’s wonderful to see the growing prospects to be found here and the influx of people coming into the region.

One of the most important contributors to the North East’s economic future is its higher education facilities, with Durham University ranking sixth in the UK, and Newcastle University being part of the Russell Group which represents some of the best universities in the country. This Group receives approximately two-thirds of all university research grants and contract income in the UK, which is testament to its high standards.

This has been further evidenced by the sheer explosion of student university accommodation which continues to grow across the region. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that students form connections during their years of study here, and many decide to stay in the area to develop their careers following graduation. It’s these bright and ambitious men and women who will become the next generation of budding entrepreneurs and business people, which will only serve to enhance the economic growth and future opportunities for all.

I was interested in recent reports from EY and the North East LEP which predict that the economic activity across Tyneside and Teesside has improved markedly and is set to grow faster over the next three years than the past three years. This backs up my own experience and observations of exciting investments and dynamic business activity going on around us.

So when asked to write a feature advertorial for the Finance special edition of the North East Times, I jumped at it. It’s my chance to tell those who shape the economy of the North East how our financial planning services can help to grow and protect gains in wealth, leading to better financial futures for individuals and greater economic strength for the region as a whole.

The feature can be found on page 70 at

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