Tees investor and charity leader Andy Preston talks about the new ‘think tank’ Policy North, which is being formed to focus exclusively on the North East of England…
I once ran a business which was based in London but also had a vibrant New York office. As the boss I made massive efforts to make the two offices feel like one team – but despite my hard work the people in New York sometimes felt like they were the poor relation: overlooked and underappreciated.
The cause of the negative feelings from those in the New York office was largely their physical separation from our activities in London.
These days we can mimic physical contact by frequent telephone calls, sharing emails and even having live video links. These things do help but they just don’t match up to the benefits of physically meeting on a regular basis. Being physically near to people leads to better interaction, idea sharing and more business.
In the North East, Teesside is geographically isolated from the main Tyne and Wear conurbation, its movers and shakers. This separation leads us to feel like the poor relation – overlooked and underappreciated. And we really do miss out because our movers and shakers aren’t mixing enough with Newcastle’s.
This needs to be put right.
Teesside needs a champion who can fit in with regional ideas and action but will also argue the case for Teesside, challenging policies and spending which aren’t fair.
I was therefore excited to learn that a brand new ‘think tank’ called Policy North is being formed to focus exclusively on the North East of England. It’s being set up by entrepreneur Stephen Purvis.
What’s especially interesting about this is the founders of the organisation are 100% determined to make sure that Teesside’s needs and opinions are heard: loud and clear!
Whoever they appoint to be Teesside’s voice in that regional ‘think tank’ I hope that they spend a lot of physical time up in Newcastle, I hope that they mix with the movers and shakers up there but most of all I hope that they fight Teesside’s corner – very hard.
Investor and charity leader