CUMMINS, one of the great names of North East industry, sharing the Echo’s proud tradition of standing up for our region, has become the latest partner in our Level Up campaign.

Cummins has been a global business force for generations, with its iconic Darlington plant producing engines since 1965.

Now it is joining Level Up alongside partners such as Tees Valley Combined Authority, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Womble Bond Dickinson and YouFibre.

Level Up is a platform hosted by The Northern Echo where businesses across the North can unite, celebrate their achievements and be a powerful single voice spotlighting the perfect region for investment and Government focus.

Steve Nendick, Marketing Communications Director, said the campaign would give the region a louder voice.

He said: “Levelling up is very important to Cummins. 95% of our workforce in the UK is outside of London, with a strong presence in the Tees Valley Area. We are one of the largest exporters and a significant employer in the region, so working with the Northern Echo will help Cummins and other local companies have the opportunity to build a stronger voice for our successes as well as the challenges facing us all.

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“We have key goals that we set out to achieve at Cummins.

“We want to be a strong contributor and bring value to the region in which we live and work; provide a great place to work with well-paid local jobs and career development opportunities, strengthen our communities by supporting local initiatives and charities, design and produce high quality products for our customer, reducing our overall impact on the environment and focus on developing sustainable emissions reduction technologies for the path to zero towards 2050.”

As part of the campaign, Cummins will be championing the whole region - north and south and Steve said: “The North East has a lot of visibility now as a region in the policy arena and industry. The relocation of the UK government departments to Darlington is a high profile move and good for the town.

“Many businesses are moving into the area, especially in the energy space. The creation of the UK’s first Transport Hydrogen Hub in the Tees Valley was especially of interest for Cummins, given our recent investment in this area. In addition to our traditional business, we are developing capability for green hydrogen production, storage and application in transport and other uses.

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“The North East has some exciting long term opportunities, British Volt as an example which will help raise the profile of the region abroad.

“Other publicly recognised brands such as Nissan continue to perform well within the constraints of the global supply challenges. The improvements made at Teesside airport will also help improve communications and facilitation of business. However, there is definitely work to do to raise the international profile of the North East.

“The local and national government need to now focus on a key areas to ensure the North East can remain at the forefront of the levelling up agenda – skills, infrastructure and investment.

“They need to work with industry to ensure there is a skills strategy for the area that is fit with current and future plans, particularly around the net zero agenda. Investing heavily in skills around hydrogen would be a good example.

“There needs to be collaboration to ensure the North East has the right infrastructure available to deliver on its ambitious plans for electric and hydrogen capabilities.

“For electric, the sale of PHEVs and EVs is way above the installation rate of charging points and locations and issues like this need to be addressed.

“Investment in research and development collaboration is needed to position the North East as a hub for the design and deployment of new sustainable technologies. Long term strategies for alternative fuels such as hydrogen production, storage, transportation and refuelling are needed to back up projects such as Cummins’ recent grant for Hydrogen engine research.

“On the back of COP26, positive local investment could make the North East a poster child for the green economy.”



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