ONE of the real perks of working with NECC Partners is the places that I get to see that are often closed to the likes of me, writes Jo Fryett. 

It’s not that I’m nosey or on a power trip, it’s just that…well actually, yes, it’s because I’m pretty nosey, now I think about it!

The partners is made up of some of the region's most influential business people who act as a sounding board for NECC's aims and ideas.

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It is a group that boasts a host of wise and experienced captains of industry who provide views and opinions that help shape the organisation's policy agenda.

And as such, we try and ensure our Partner meetings are held in some interesting places. Over the last couple of years we have witnessed the workings of the Tyne Tees newsroom, been taken through the workings of the SSI blast furnace and picked the brains of Bank of England officials in the Prior’s Hall at Durham Cathedral.

This year we’ve already had a flying start (pardon the pun) with NECC President Davie Laws and Chief Executive of Newcastle Airport speaking at the first partner event of the year.

We took a group of partners on a tour of the fire station and also the air traffic control tower. The Airport even managed to hold the Emirates flight for the tour so we could see it take off…or maybe it was just good timing?

But we’ve not been the only special visitors, as a recent visit from the Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill MP to the Airport also took place.

In February, we hosted both LEPs. They spoke exclusively to partners about future plans and business engagement in the region, which was warmly welcomed.

We also have five of our partners working on a new Innovation project. Each will lead on a key theme, and those involved include Teesside University which was recently awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for outstanding contributions in further and higher Education and in-particular Teesside University’s work in supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship, Gateshead College, BT, Bond Dickinson and Virgin Money.

These two new projects will complement the existing work of partners and the NECC policy team, which is working on behalf of the wider NECC members to ensure that we showcase the very best of the North-East and its business community.

Follow me on Twitter @NECCJo