A couple of days ago my friends at the Bdaily Business Network Northeast inadvertently “set me off on one”. An article had been posted about a very commendable programme offering start-up funding to rural start-up and micro-businesses looking to expand in certain parts of the north east. On the same page there is a poll about whether city status would improve Middlesbrough’s prosperity. I know some incredible people in Middlesbrough doing tremendous work to support and encourage enterprise in the area – I know others doing similar great things in another of my favourite places a little further south, Hull. Both Middlesbrough and Hull are blighted with some of the worst railway links surviving in England and I can only guess at the state of transport links to some of the more rural areas in these parts of the country. So why on Earth isn’t central government supporting these communities with better transport links? They are doing all they can to support enterprise for the benefit of their communities and it is essential for UK Plc., that they succeed. So why have successive governments seemed determined to turn their backs on the north east and stick ‘High Speed 2’ straight up the west of the country, which already has some pretty impressive rail links? One of the ministers I worked with, some years ago, said that we mustn’t fail in the north east if we were to consider our promotion and support of enterprise to be a success. Of course transport and communication links are not magic wands but time and time again these issues are ignored to the detriment of some of the bravest communities in the country.
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