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Alcan proves its worth to North East economy; in association with RBS.

Byline: Peter McCusker (0191) 201-6139

AN independent study has shown that Northumberland's biggest private employer is worth pounds 118m to the North East economy.

As well as benefiting the region as a whole the research shows Rio Tinto Alcan, which employs 650 people at its Lynemouth plant, also puts about pounds 60m into South East Northumberland.

Wyn Jones, managing director of Alcan Aluminium UK Limited said: "The conclusions show how we are already benefiting the local and regional economy and also how we can increase that by incorporating additional local and regional suppliers within our supply chain."

This regional impact was revealed by an evaluation of Rio Tinto Alcan's expenditure on salaries, goods and services, based on a financial tool developed by the New Economics Foundation.

The work was undertaken by the North East Centre of Excellence (NECE) with support from Northumberland County Council.

The calculation assesses staff salaries and commercial contracts placed with the company's supply chain, and also ascertains what level of expenditure was spent in the region by staff and suppliers.

The group's Lynemouth plant produces about 180,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce said: "These findings conclusively reveal the importance of the private sector to the North East economy."

"The fact that this study has been undertaken at Rio Tinto Alcan just goes to confirm the impact that this one company has on both the local communities where it is based and the region as a whole. It is a staggering sum of money.

"However, Rio Tinto Alcan's contribution to the region also extends to a whole range of community-based initiatives and projects that it supports not just financially but in time, expert advice and leadership," he added.

The company has invested time and money in numerous community projects including Lynemouth Resource Centre, the Wansbeck Business Awards, Northumberland Hospital radio, Woodhorn Colliery Museum, local residents associations, schools and grass roots sport.

Barry Mitchell, project manager for NECE said: "Rio Tinto Alcan and Northumberland County Council agreed it would be useful and of immense interest to a variety of partners to apply that tool and measure the current impact of Rio Tinto Alcan not only within its locality but also on the whole of the North East Region."


BENEFITS Alcan MD Wyn Jones.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2008
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