Page last updated at 18:23 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Recession hits North East hardest

The economy in the North East has been hit the hardest in England, with 188 businesses failing in the last quarter of 2008, according to retail analysts.

Financial data firm, Experian, has revealed the number of companies going into liquidation has gone up 61% in comparison to the same period in 2007.

The North East Chamber of Commerce said the Government needed to make sure businesses could access vital finance.

The figures showed the region's losses were double the UK average.

Russ Smith, head of policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is very worrying times and the figures are alarming.

"There are still, however, many businesses doing well through the recession and we need to build on that.

"The Government needs to support businesses by making sure there are no barriers between them and the banks, they need to bring forward construction projects to create more jobs in the immediate future.

"They should not be concentrating on restructuring skills policy in companies at this time, they need to provide vital support."

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