WELCOME, Just Eat, to the North East, creating 1,500 jobs and bringing with it £100m of investment.

Many of these are “re-shored” jobs – jobs which have been brought back to this country from Bulgaria and India.

A decade or two ago, off-shoring was a business fad, which the public quickly saw through. It enabled companies to make items or to provide services more cheaply overseas but the customer – particularly when dealing with a call centre – never felt comfortable with it, as there were technological and communication difficulties, plus there was the unsettling feeling that British people had lost their jobs.

With wages in India, China and eastern Europe now rising, there are no longer great economic benefits to be had overseas and, spurred on by public sentiment, call centres have spent that last five years coming back to Britain. Now, with Covid and Brexit disruption, plus concerns about the environmental impact of global transport, many manufacturers are also looking to bring production back to this country, supported by a government organisation called Reshoring UK.

Of course, we cannot be insular. Global markets are as important to us as ever.

But, as re-shoring reverses what was a cynical business move, it is great to see that the attractive North-East accent and the warmth of our people has enabled the region to attract Just Eat and to provide a genuine service to hungry diners.