I am organising the Conference as part of National Park Week. Joining the Minister will be representatives from Egger, Northumbria Water, Northumberland National Park and the North East Enterprise Partnership.
The aim of the conference is see what we can all do to create more jobs and growth here in Northumberland.
Our rural economy is vital to creating more jobs and greater prosperity, contributing to our countries long-term economic security. We can only unlock growth if we release that potential in our rural economy - as well as our great cities. The connection between the two is key to the economic success of our region. My hope is that our big employers, the National Park and those others in attendance will be able to tell the Minister directly what we need to do unlock growth here in Northumberland.
Local unemployment is down on last month, and down by 150 people compared to this time last year, but there is always more to be done. With the right infrastructure, good broadband and the right support, our area can become a real hub for growth, business and jobs. That is what I want to see, and bringing everyone together at our conference goes some way towards that.
The conference will hear a keynote speech from the Minister as well as from the new Chairman of the Northumberland National Park Coun Glen Sanderson. I will then be joining Rory for an afternoon visiting small businesses and projects within Northumberland National Park.