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Recovery plan

Truss drives exports through four UK-wide hubs

Liz Truss

Liz Truss: channelling investment

A drive on exports will be led from four trade and investment hubs across the UK as part of the Westminster government’s strategy for post-pandemic recovery.

An existing hub in Edinburgh will be beefed up and will offer advice and support to exporters alongside new hubs in Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington.

The Department for International Trade said the hubs will employ 550 staff with an ambition to increase this to 750 by 2030. The DIT Hub in Edinburgh announced in September last year, will see a “significant increase” in headcount following its relaunch today.

The department said they will give exporters a direct feed into UK trade policy, and can better take advantage of opportunities in fast-growing markets.

The trade hubs will create a critical link between the regions and the resources of the Office For Investment – a joint initiative with the Prime Minister’s Office – to channel investment money into every UK nation and region.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “I’m determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These trade and investment hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery.

“They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters – whether they’re selling Scotch beef, Welsh Lamb or cars made in the North of England – have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest growing markets.”

Government-led research shows that exports support 6.5m jobs across the UK, 74% of which are outside London.

However figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed exports to the UK in January fell 40.7% in January, although trade is expected to pick up once Brexit red tape issues are resolved.

The decision to include Darlington, a former railway and market town, alongside the national capitals caused some puzzlement and raised questions about why big city candidates for the north of England such as Hull or Newcastle were not preferred.

Darlington has already been selected as the location for an outpost of the Treasury.

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