The Financial Secretary to the Treasury believes that the economy has now "turned the corner" despite the announcement that the UK is in a technical recession.

Nigel Huddleston, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire and Financial Secretary, visited Darlington to walk around the high street with the MP Peter Gibson.

During the secretary's visit, he observed the 'incredible mix of vibrant independent businesses' that the town has to offer. 

The Northern Echo had the chance to talk to both politicians during their visit to the Create & Paint shop on Grange Road.

The Financial Secretary explained that despite the news this morning that the UK economy has fallen into recession he believes falling inflation is a reason to be hopeful.

Mr Huddleston said: "A lot of the forecasters are saying that this is going to be a shallow recession.

"Not so long ago people were predicting a deep and long recession, we haven’t had that.

"It is a technical recession because it has lasted two quarters and we might already be out of it.

"The key thing to do was to get inflation down and that is absolutely pivotal then of course when inflation comes down then interest rates can come down.

"We really have turned a corner now, it is a pivotal moment so I think we have turned the corner.

"We’re not the only one in this situation, you look at the economic picture in a lot of other developed economies like Germany and Japan and so on.

"We have all faced very similar problems. I am confident that we have now turned the corner."

When asked about ways the government can help Darlington high street the Financial Secretary discussed how the government has been trying to support small businesses.

He said: "We really have been focused on businesses, in particular small and medium sixed businesses because we recognise that they are the lifeblood of the economy.

"Many businesses did get the energy price reductions, we didn’t only provide support for households, we did so for businesses too. We recognise that low business rates also helps with cash flow.

"Just coming along this street there was such an incredible mix of vibrant independent businesses here and we do recognise that these businesses really do need these support measures

"They were some of the most hit during the pandemic."

Mr Gibson, Conservative MP for Darlington, believes that Darlington bucks the trend of high streets in decline across the country.

He said: "I think Darlington bucks the trend, we have got an amazing array of new independent businesses.

"Here in the Imperial quarter, there are some fantastic businesses not least of which the one we are in. That carves us out as being somewhat different.

"You’ve just got to look to the East of Darlington and we have got nearly 2,000 people working at Amazon.

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"That’s really pivotal to our local economy, providing jobs. I go around and about and I knock on doors and see people getting parcels from online retailers and then they complain about the high street.

"We have all got a part to play in this and I go out of my way to do what I can as an independent person in the community. We can all vote with our feet and come into town."

He believes that Darlington needs free parking to return to compete with Yarm, Richmond and Northallerton.