Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is involved in an initiative led by the North East England Chamber of Commerce to ensure the region can continue to thrive following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the initiative, WBD will work with the Chamber and other major employers in the region to formulate a strategic plan outlining the essential priorities for the region’s economic future. These include the state of the local business environment (such as town and city centres), infrastructure, education, employment and skills and business finance.

Nigel Emmerson, Partner in WBD's Newcastle office, commented:

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the way we live, work and do business. The future looks uncertain with many social and economic challenges ahead. It is therefore important, now more than ever, for businesses and organisations in the region to come together in a collaborative effort to support one another and find a way through this together. As a major employer in the region, we have a key role to play and look forward to working with the wider business community in planning for the future prosperity of the North East."

James Ramsbotham, Chamber chief executive, said:

“We understand fully North East businesses are facing tremendous difficulties right now, but we all have also to keep our eyes looking forward. It is imperative if we are to get through this current challenge that we know, as far as possible, what we need to do to hit the ground running after this crisis has eased.”

Chamber Partner members supporting this initiative represent a range of North East business sectors including Northumbrian Water, Thirteen Group, Gateshead College, Banks Group, Newcastle Building Society and Lichfields.

To support businesses the Chamber has arranged a series of virtual networking, webinars and key information updates and is acting as a PPE hub for NHS trusts to access essential materials from businesses.