Mandelson gives backing to development agencies

British industry can become a world leader, says new Business Secretary

The UK’s new Business Secretary has thrown his weight behind the country’s regional development agencies (RDAs), saying they could help British industry become a world leader.

Peter Mandelsen said the RDAs were best placed to "lead and help to develop innovative thinking and the solutions business need".

He said the agencies were defining the direction for the regional economies. Through their support and investment in business, traditional industries they could become world leaders in advance manufacturing.

Speaking at the Northern Regeneration and Renewal Summit in Manchester, he said of the RDAs: "The mandate is clear: to ensure that every hardworking business, in every region of the country has the necessary advice and support to help them not just to survive but also to succeed in the difficult times ahead."

He added: "For me, the role of regional development agencies will be crucial in this process. Led by business, working in partnership with local authorities, universities and others, they are the key economic coordination body in each region. Not just for the North [of England], but for the country as a whole."

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