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John Prescott, environment secretary, today visited Newcastle and Gateshead to hail the 'northern renaissance' whic...
John Prescott, environment secretary, today visited Newcastle and Gateshead to hail the 'northern renaissance' which the government and community have together made possible.

He pointed to important new developments at Newcastle Great Park and Newburn Riverside Industrial Park, which show the tremendous potential that the region has for developing a high tech cluster which will provide growth, regeneration and a brighter future for the whole region.

Mr Prescott said: 'My message in Gateshead is the same as in Gillingham and everywhere else in the country. If you are unemployed, wherever you are, north

or south, you deserve the same attention from this government.

'It's not about a north-south divide. It's about using the wealth and talents of the whole region itself to regenerate and revive the spirit of the north.

'Because the people of Gillingham want the same things from their government as the people here in Gateshead. I am not saying - and I have never said - that every area suffers the same problems to the same degree.

'My point is not that every area has the same problems. It is that, wherever they live, what people fundamentally want from life is essentially the same. Because the heartlands and middle England, Scotland and Wales are united by the same basic decent values.'

'They want the rock of economic stability; better schools so that their children get the chances they deserve, better hospitals and reduced waiting times and a better transport system for all.

'The Newburn Riverside Park and the Newcastle Great Park decision mark an important step in the urban renaissance of Newcastle and the whole of the north. Regions that attract this kind of investment will be able to compete domestically and internationally. And this type of development will help build our communities as they attract jobs and prosperity.

'The Newburn development will create up to 5,000 jobs and bring in up to£116m for the region. It is a massive vote of confidence in the north.

'The regional development agency, One North East, is playing a leading role in the development of this site in partnership with Newcastle City Council - an excellent example of the role RDAs play in regenerating our regions and modernising the economy.

'We are putting new tools into the hands of the regions to create new types of development and build new and vibrant economies - putting back the confidence and decision making powers that are the springboard for future development.'

'This type of development emphasises the key elements of sustainable communities. Economic regeneration, creating jobs, building proper transport links, decent housing, economic regeneration, education and skills using the talents of local people and industry working together. The new economy for the new century.'

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