The referendum is a big decision, particularly for the North East.
Here in the North East we don’t just get £10 back for every £1 we spend, we get the £1 back too. The EU invests in our region, it helps create jobs, and stimulate growth.
Our membership of the European Union gives us access to the single market allowing free movement of goods from the UK to the other 27 member states.
Access to the single market is a real boost to North East businesses, with almost half of the regions exports going to the EU. No wonder 63% of North East Chamber of Commerce members said they were planning on voting to remain in the EU.
This trade isn’t just good for business in the region, it is good for workers and their families. Up to 160,000 jobs in the region rely on trade with the EU.
This isn’t all the EU does for the region, with benefits of EU membership extending beyond access to the single market.
As net recipients of EU funds, the North East is entitled to more European Funds than any other English region. Between 2007-2013 the North East received £255 million from the European Regional Development Fund, and £127 million from the European Social Fund.
Over the next five years the North will receive £664 million in EU funds.
EU funding supports projects across the region from NETPArk here in Sedgefield, to Hartlepool Growth Hub, and Teesside Advanced Manufacturing
Benefits of EU funding goes further than this in the North East, since 2008 universities in our region have received £50 million in funding.
For the region as a whole, the EU plays a vital role in growth and prosperity, it help our workers, businesses and universities. For the North East, a region which gets more from the EU than it puts in, staying in the EU is vital.