As the Prime Minister proved last week, it’s a challenge for any Government to reassure ignored and neglected parts of the country while at the same time make sure the more comfortable regions don’t think the good times are over for them as they hand over their pocket money to help out.

But to really feel the need for change and the passion for opportunity, you have to be here - at street level in our towns and cities.

You have to know the people and share their ambition and be fearless in getting answers that mean we make progress, always and relentlessly.

That is why The Northern Echo has launched its Level Up campaign and why I have returned to journalism to work in the town where I live, as Business & Commercial Editor of a legendary newspaper, leading coverage of one of the most important campaigns in its 150 years.

For me it is about uniting the voices of residents and businesses who are asking for the things that will make their lives better and giving them the volume they need so they are clearly heard.

Those people making the decisions that will redraw the landscape around us - the lawmakers and the investors - want to know that we are working together as a united region - made up of so many different attitudes and needs, but supporting each other every step of the way.

The campaign will be powerful as well as passionate. We will demand that promises and pledges are more than just headlines and soundbites and that politicians deliver and don’t dither.

The campaign works across all of our business sectors and sets out goals we can all achieve if we collaborate.

JOBS and SKILLS: This has to be top of the list. We need to make sure there are well-paid and sustainable jobs for this generation and the next to keep the local economy strong and make sure young people with the right skills are ready for work.

ENVIRONMENT and INFRASTRUCTURE: This is the ‘landing strip’ for investors - stunning surroundings for families and the perfect homes, roads, and commercial property to tempt multinationals and SMEs.

INVESTMENT and EXPANSION: We want to catalogue the stream of investments that are keeping jobs and ideas alive and creating new products and services. Whatever you are doing in your business, let us know.

LEISURE and TOURISM: Living and working here, we sometimes forget that this is a place people from around the world want to visit for its heritage and beauty. We’ll highlight that as part of the perfect package the North East has to offer.

DIVERSITY and EQUALITY: What we are most proud of - our wide open doors for anyone who wants to make the region the place where they build their career.

WELLBEING and HEALTH: What would this all be if it wasn’t for people? We need to look after each other and make sure the work-life balance is central to our lives.

Join us in a campaign that will help the place we all love become the perfect home for investors and jobs.