Advancing the North East Sets Agenda for Region


Strategies to power the North East have been ignited following powerful discussions at a PNE Group event, Advancing the North East.

Advancing the North East, the inaugural event hosted by PNE Group on November 9th 2017, brought together influencers with industry leaders to propose new strategies to promote and encourage innovation in North East businesses.

The event focused on how collaboration, such as strengthening our professional services and leveraging existing assets, could power additional economic growth and create more jobs within the region.

Held at the Centre for Life, the event featured presentations from Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE, Entrepreneur and Ambassador for Brand Britain; Carole O’Neil, Partner and Human Resource Director at Cundall; David Irwin, Founder of PNE Group and Irwin Grayson Associates; and Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at North East LEP.

In addition, Scott Dickinson, Associate at SDG Economic Development and co-author of IPPR’s influential ‘Brexit North’ paper presented original research on the evening, setting the context for discussion. The research will be published by PNE Group later this year.

Paul Lancaster, founder of Plan Digital UK and event guest, said: “Almost all the great start-up activity you can see in Newcastle today can be traced back to the work PNE Group have been doing since the early 80s. The event was a great way to take stock of where we are, how far we’ve come and start the conversation about where we go next!”

Dawn Cranswick, chief executive of PNE Group and event host, said: “The North East is a hugely successful region for business, collaboration and innovation and has a fantastic track record of developing new talent. However, there is always more that we can do to empower businesses and drive forward growth.

“We’re now focusing on the discussions from Advancing the North East and how these will inspire our local businesses, energise the next generation of leaders and ultimately lay the foundations to ignite economic success in the region.”

Photographs taken on the evening are available to view online at

To request a booklet summarising the event data, please email

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