One of the key voices in the Treasury has given North East business leaders a unique insight into how the Budget was pulled together and how it helped the North East.

Matthew Taylor, Director of the Darlington Economic Campus, gave his take on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Budget for an audience at believe housing in Seaham, staged by BUSINESSiQ- the business arm of The Northern Echo - as part of its Level Up campaign for jobs and investment.

After Matthew's keynote speech, BUSINESSiQ Editor Mike Hughes led the panel debate on what effects the Budget had on their sectors and their specific businesses.

The Northern Echo: Our keynote speaker Matthew TaylorOur keynote speaker Matthew Taylor (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

With great input from the audience, particularly students from East Durham College, the panel who took part were:

Faye Gordon, Exec. Director of Investment, Growth and Performance at believe housing

Chris Brown Director of Products & Marketing at  Darlington Building Society

Simon Coultas Chief Financial Officer at razorblue

Cllr. Elizabeth Scott Cabinet Member for Economy and Partnerships at Durham County Council

Kevin Bell, a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson

Rachel Anderson Assistant Director of Policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce 

Siobhan McArdle Chair of the Tees Valley Business Board.


The Northern Echo: Level Up works towards jobs and investment in the regionLevel Up works towards jobs and investment in the region (Image: Newsquest)


The Northern Echo: Plenty of chance to network at our eventsPlenty of chance to network at our events (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Our businesses, partners in the Level Up campaign, said there were obvious highlights like the Trailblazer deal for the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority which enables the Crown Works film studio, but challenges over council finances and the infrastructure to support the delivery of major projects meant the Budget still fell short of keeping everyone happy.

A livestream of the whole event is available on the BUSINESSiQ YouTube site HERE.


The Northern Echo: Level Up live at believe housing in SeahamLevel Up live at believe housing in Seaham (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

The Northern Echo: Siobhan McArdleSiobhan McArdle (Image: Sarah Caldecott)

 If you want to have your voice heard as part of the Level Up campaign, contact

The Northern Echo: Kevin Bell of Womble Bond DickinsonKevin Bell of Womble Bond Dickinson (Image: Sarah Caldecott)


The Northern Echo: Chris BrownChris Brown (Image: Sarah Caldecott)