BUSINESSES in County Durham are being urged to share their stories about working in the area as part of a new campaign aimed at attracting people to the region.

Durham County Council has been working with businesses on the new campaign, involving a series of short films, to showcase the area.

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The Powered by People campaign is aimed at giving businesses, developers and employers the chance to promote Durham as a place to work, with the intention of trying to increase investment and jobs across the county.

So far it has involved a number of County Durham’s employers, including Newton Aycliffe-based Hitachi, Dyer Engineering, which is based in Annfield Plain, near Stanley and Durham-based IT consultancy Waterstons.

Council leader councillor Simon Henig said: “This initiative Powered by People has come from conversations with businesses across County Durham.

“Businesses have told us they need a way to showcase the county and all that’s going on here.

“Time and time again we’ve heard Durham is a great to do business but we needed something to get that across.

“This was an opportunity to bring people together and amplify the positivity we see across the county and create a clear message about what a fantastic place Durham is to do business.”

Terry Collins, chief executive of Durham County Council, said: “Despite the uncertainty of the national situation there’s a lot of positivity and a lot of people being positive about the future.

“We’re seeing numerous developments going forward and real investment in the county.”

He added: “This is the council’s biggest priority; the economy.

“We know from the approaches and interest we have had that people really want to come and do business with the county.”

The council is involved in a number of schemes to try and attract investment in County Durham, including redeveloping its home in Aykley Heads as a business park, and working more closely with Durham University to retain graduates.

A council spokesperson said: “The county is bucking the national trend attracting 40 multinational investors over the past three years, and over £3.4billion worth of planned investment.”

Richard Bradley, finance director at Dyer Engineering, who has been involved in creating the campaign, said: “Durham people bring a really good sense of pride, good work ethic and an element of fun.

“You can have all the facilities and all the machinery in the world, but if you haven’t got people they don’t do anything, we don’t make anything and we’re not a business.

“The only thing that matters are people.”

Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, which is redeveloping the former passport office site at Milburngate, Durham, said: “I think our future is really bright.

“We need to get out there and bang the drum for Durham.”

The campaign will be advertised nationally, while businesses are also being urged to share the films online and on social media.

The council, together with Durham University, will host a regional business event at the Radisson Hotel, Durham, on January 31, when entrepreneurs will be invited to look at the role of the North-East in the UK economy.