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Posted on 31st August, 2016

Angel of the North silhouette

Over the last couple of weeks a number of things have made me think about how lucky we are to be based in the north east and also how proud we should be about the things that are happening in our area.

As this is a special anniversary year for Jacksons we have been talking lots about how proud we are of our history and our role in the north east community for the last 140 years but being proud of the past is not enough and all businesses need to look at their position and responsibilities for the future. As well as providing first class legal advice we have a duty to support our community and we do this by working with local charities and by helping local school children and students with work experience and apprenticeship opportunities. However we need to do more than that we need to promote our area and celebrate positive news stories and successes.

Earlier in the summer I attended a North East England Chamber of Commerce Presidents Club lunch held in the ground of Auckland Castle. The speaker was Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman of Auckland Castle Trust. He talked enthusiastically about the plans for Auckland Castle and the investment which was being made to establish Bishop Auckland as a destination. He talked of Kynren the spectacular live outdoor night show telling an epic tale of England which I had heard of but had never really engaged with. After a discussion over the breakfast table about everything happening in Bishop Auckland my husband and I decided if something this amazing was possibly happening in our area then we needed to see it so we booked some tickets and a week ago we headed off on a windy rainy Saturday night. It would be a lie to say we wondered why we were doing this as the rain lashed down but luckily for us as the show time approached the skies cleared and we headed to the showground. What an amazing experience it was! We had never seen anything like it and we are so glad we went. It was truly spectacular and very original and clearly the rest of the 8000 strong crowd thought it was brilliant too. We can’t wait to see the rest of the development at the castle now and urge you to experience this too.

After this excitement our marketing manager and I met with Eamonn Leavey of the North East England Chamber of Commerce and we discussed the work they are doing to support business in the north east and to promote all the developments taking place and the good news stories. We talked about how here in the north east we need to work hard to promote our region and to publicise our good news stories and not to let the national press use us as a base for bad news stories. I am really pleased that Jacksons is a member of such a strong organisation working hard for our region and making sure we do not get lost within the Northern Powerhouse while more confident areas take control.

Finally at the same NECC lunch mentioned above I sat next to James Ellam , chief executive of St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle and this lead to a meeting with Sue Jones to talk about their work. How exciting to hear all about the giant snowdog sculptures which we will find dotted around Newcastle from September. This is going to be so much fun for everyone while raising funds for such an important charity. If you would like to know more about this project or the valuable work of the hospice then Amy Slater will be joining us at the next Jump Leads networking meeting on Monday 5th September from 9am to 11am at Sunderland BIC. Do call in for a coffee and pastry and hear the story. It is also a great chance to look at the Business Innovation Centre (BIC) another great institution supporting business in the north east. Email Paul Clark ( to let him know you would like to attend.

So this week’s challenge – go out and find all the good news stories about the north east you can and then tell people about them. We are really really lucky to live and work in such a fabulous part of the country and we need to be really proud of our region.

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