Our board

Meet our board members, view their register of interests and download meeting minutes

North East LEP board members

The North East LEP Board includes eighteen representatives from across the private, public and education sectors and is chaired by Andrew Hodgson, former Chief Executive Officer of Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD). Each of the Leaders and the Elected Mayors from our seven local authority areas are members of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Board.

Scroll down this page to find the latest Board papers, meetings and agendas.

Andrew Hodgson

Chair

Andrew has held Chief Executive positions in the energy and subsea sectors, and has been awarded three Queen’s Awards for Industry.

He joined the North East LEP board in 2011 and took over as Chair in 2016, where he works to help drive forward the vision of the North East Strategic Economic Plan to create 100,000 more jobs, and works with key stakeholders to ensure the region’s economy is strengthened.

He also chairs the North East Skills Advisory Panel, is a trustee for the International Centre for Life and the Northern Education Trust. He is a former North East Business Exec of the year and EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and has received an OBE for his work in manufacturing.

Andrew is currently Chairman at Avid Technology, a high growth EV component developer and manufacturer.

You can read Andrew’s Register of Interests here.

Heidi Mottram

Heidi Mottram

Vice Chair

Heidi Mottram has been Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water Group since 2010. Under her leadership, Northumbrian Water has become one of the UK’s leading water companies, officially the only water firm on the World’s Most Ethical companies list six years in a row.

You can read Heidi’s Register of Interests here.

Gillian Hall

Private sector, LEP Board Member

Gillian is a highly respected contributor to private and public sector organisations through various non-executive roles (including Harbour Commissioner at the Port of Blyth), her corporate finance consultancy business and mentoring for growth. Gillian was the first female Senior Partner at Watson Burton LLP, a national law firm with offices in Newcastle, Leeds and London, and before that, led the firm’s corporate team for many years.

You can read Gillain’s Register of Interests here.

Erika Leadbeater

Private Sector LEP Board member

Erika began her career as a private practice solicitor specialising in shipping and the carriage of goods before joining the family business, marine access services company TSG Marine, as Operations Director in 2013. A science graduate, Erika is an advocate for small businesses and a member of the UK Government’s SME Advisory Board.

 

John McCabe

Private Sector LEP Board member

The current chair of Gateshead College and immediate past president of North East England Chamber of Commerce, John McCabe has held senior positions at some of the North East’s largest organisations for the past 20 years.

From 2002 until 2013 John was corporate affairs director and later regional economic development director at Rio Tinto Alcan. In 2013 he founded strategic communications agency, Fusion, and in 2019 stood for election as independent candidate for North of Tyne mayor.

Ammar Mirza CBE

Private sector, LEP Board Member

A multi-award winning entrepreneur who has helped establish several hundred businesses in the North East.  Ammar is Founder and Chairman of Asian Business Connexions and President of the Federation of Asian Business alongside being a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (FInstLM), and Royal Society of Arts(FRSA).  He has a particular interest in enterprise education as Chair of Governors of a Primary School, Chair of the Progression Forum and a visiting Professor of Practice at Newcastle University, and having helped launch the Primary Inspiration through Enterprise (PIE) Project Charity.

Ammar is the North East LEP Board’s local SME representative.

You can read Ammar’s Register of Interests here.

Andrew Moffat

Private sector, LEP Board Member

Andrew Moffat has extensive experience in financial, commercial and strategic roles within a number of international companies. He joined the Port of Tyne as the Finance and Commercial Director in 2007 before progressing to Chief Executive until October 2018. He was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours List 2016 for services to the North East economy and UK ports. Andrew is Chair of the CBI’s Regional Council in the North East and a member of a number of other local partnership boards focused on the delivery of economic regeneration.

You can read Andrew’s Register of Interests here.

Mark Thompson

Private sector, LEP Board Member

Mark Thompson is managing partner of Ryder Architecture, where he is responsible for the strategic development of the highly successful design company with offices across the UK and a growing international portfolio from offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver.

You can read Mark’s Register of Interests here.

Kate Wickham

Kate Wickham

Board member

Kate, who in 2017, was recognised with a MBE for services to export and outward investment.

Since being appointed as Managing Director of Gate 7 in 2011, Kate has invested heavily in equipment, expansion and a new purpose-built factory in the USA. The company specialises in the supply of decals and printed components to the construction equipment, agricultural and industrial markets and has global contracts with JCB and Volvo, and European contracts with Komatsu, Bobcat and Kuhn.

You can view Kate’s Register of Interests here.

Professor Stuart Corbridge

Stuart joined Durham University in 2015 from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he served as Deputy Director and Provost.

In 1978, he graduated with a First in Geography from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He continued at Cambridge for his PhD, which was focused on the politics of ethnoregionalism in Jharkhand, India and has carried out field-based academic work in eastern India ever since. Alongside this, he has also worked extensively in that region for the UK’s Department for International Development, including on public service delivery issues, joint forest management, participation and empowerment. His major publication (with Glyn Williams, Manoj Srivastava and Rene Veron, 2005) remains, Seeing the State: Governance and Governmentality in India.

After early posts at Huddersfield Polytechnic, Royal Holloway, Bedford New College (University of London) and the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Corbridge was appointed to a Lectureship in South Asian Geography at Cambridge University in 1988 and elected to a Fellowship at Sidney Sussex College. He remained at Cambridge for the next eleven years before taking up a post of Professor of International Studies at the University of Miami, USA and later a Chair in Geography at the London School of Economics. He became the Head of LSE’s Department of International Development in 2007 and from 2010 served as Pro-Director for Research and External Relations. In 2013, Corbridge was appointed as the first Deputy Director and Provost of LSE. At LSE, he led work to develop LSE’s core undergraduate course (LSE 100) and to improve systems of academic recruitment, mentoring, review and reward.

You can view Stuart’s Register of Interests here.

Ellen Thinnesen

Board member

Ellen is Principal and Chief Executive of City of Sunderland College, the largest multi-site College within the North East providing education and training to over 13500 students and apprentices from across the region. Ellen is passionate about social mobility, and during what she describes as her ‘second career’ she has held numerous senior positions within education in Greater Manchester and the Yorkshire and Humber regions. Ellen has also had a long and successful ‘first career’ working within private and public health services across the country. She has also held numerous board positions in the not-for-profit and University sectors within and external to the North East and continues to contribute nationally to help influence education policy and reform.

You can read Ellen’s Register of Interests here.

Carol Botten

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) LEP Board member

Carol Botten was appointed CEO of VONNE in September 2018 following four years as Deputy CEO. With almost 25 years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector, Carol is passionate about supporting the sector’s leadership and governance capabilities and developing new programmes and projects to increase organisations’ sustainability and resilience.

She currently leads on external policy work with the North East LEP and advises on skills, employability and inclusive growth for the North of Tyne Combined Authority. Carol is a member of Northern Powergrid’s Social Issues Expert Group and Stakeholder Panel, the North East Brexit Group and the Cabinet Office’s National Leadership programme.

Councillor Nick Forbes

Leader of Newcastle City Council

Cllr Nick Forbes became Leader of Newcastle City Council in 2011. As well as chairing the council’s Cabinet, he is the regional lead for Transport for the North East Combined Authority. He is Vice Chair of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority and also chairs FRESH, the campaign for a smoke-free North East.

He is Vice Chair of the Core Cities Cabinet, with lead responsibility for transport.

Nationally, he is Leader of the Local Government Association Labour Group, and also Senior Vice Chair of the LGA. He is a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Nick trained in the NHS and worked as Chief Executive of Involve North East, a regional health charity.

You can read Councillor Forbes’ Register of Interests here.

Councillor Martin Gannon

Leader of Gateshead Council

Born in County Durham, Martin Gannon has lived in Gateshead for over 40 years. Councillor Gannon, who represents the Deckham ward, joined the Council in 1984 and was appointed as Deputy Leader in 2010. He has previously held the position of Vice Chair of the Social Services Committee, and was Chair of the Planning Committee.

Martin is actively involved in a number of major national bodies, including the Local Government Association. Prior to taking up his role as Deputy Leader, he was a Regional Officer for GMB Trade Union from 1987-2010.

You can read Councillor Gannon’s Register of Interests here.

Councillor Simon Henig

Leader of Durham County Council

Locally, Councillor Henig is Leader of Durham County Council, Chair of the County Durham Partnership and Chair of the Association of North East Councils. Nationally, he is a lead member on the People and Places Board of the Local Government Association and a member of Labour’s National Policy Forum. Councillor Henig is also Principal Lecturer in politics at Sunderland University and an accomplished author on the same subject.

You can read Councillor Henig’s Register of Interests here.

Councillor Peter Jackson

Leader of Northumberland County Council

Peter was elected as Leader of Northumberland County Council in May 2017. He has been a local councillor for more than 20 years, holding positions including Leader of the former Castle Morpeth Borough Council.

Peter has taken on other roles including representing Northumberland on the Local Government Association and was a Board Member of One NorthEast for five years.

He lives in the Ponteland area and runs his own business in agriculture. He is Chairman of Tynegrain, the largest agricultural cooperative in the North East.

You can read Councillor Jackson’s Register of Interests here.

Councillor Iain Malcolm

Leader of South Tyneside Council

Councillor Malcolm has been a member of South Tyneside Council since 1988 and Leader since 2008. He chairs the Board of Newcastle International Airport, is a Member of the South Tyneside Foundation Trust, Chair of the South Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Board and Chair of the Economic and Regeneration Board for the North East Combined Authority. Professionally he is Deputy Chair of Sovereign Strategy.

You can read Councillor Malcolm’s Register of Interests here.

Cllr Graeme Miller

Councillor Graeme Miller

Leader of Sunderland City Council

Cllr Miller was appointed Leader of Sunderland City Council in May 2018. He was first elected to the council in 2006 to represent Washington South ward where he is also school governor. Before becoming Leader, Cllr Miller was the Cabinet’s portfolio holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services. Cllr Miller is particularly passionate about mental health as the basis for good overall health and wellbeing and he is a Health and Mental Health Champion for the city.

He is a member of City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust’s Council of Governors and Chair of Age UK Sunderland. He also represents the council and city on a number of bodies and organisations including the North East Combined Authority Leadership Board and North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

As Leader, Cllr Miller’s focus is continuing to work in partnership on the city’s economic regeneration, building on progress in relation to housing and infrastructure development and skills and employment opportunities.

You can read Councillor Miller’s Register of Interests here.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn

Elected Mayor, North Tyneside Council

Norma Redfearn took up her four-year term of office as Elected Mayor of North Tyneside in May 2013. As the authority’s principal public spokesperson, her role is to give political direction to the Council and appoint the Cabinet and Deputy Mayor, which provides the executive decision-making function for the organisation. Norma, who lives in North Tyneside, has an extensive track-record in local government. She has previously represented the Riverside Ward in North Shields as Ward Councillor since 2004. During 2005-2009 she served as Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Learning. A graduate of Newcastle University she has had a 30 year career in teaching, both in primary and secondary education. This included 14 years as a head teacher and four years in an education advisory capacity, before moving into education related consultancy. As a member of the NUT she served as a school delegate, executive member and is a past President of Newcastle Association and a National representative for Primary Schools. In 1997, Norma was awarded the Prize for Public Leadership by the office of Public Management.

You can read Mayor Redfern’s Register of Interests here.

Meeting minutes and agendas

 

The North East LEP regularly publishes agendas, reports and minutes of its Board and sub Investment Board on this page. Where reports contain confidential information, this may be excluded under The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

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FAQs

Where can I find out more about the targets in the Strategic Economic Plan and how we are performing against them?

You can find information on all of our targets here. The North East LEP is constantly reviewing progress against the targets as new data emerges and publishing regular updates on the news section of this website.

How was the SEP developed?

The first version of the Strategic Economic Plan was published in April 2014. It followed on from the North East Independent Economic Review and set out a high level vision for the economy and included investment programmes for Local Growth Fund and European funds which were available at that time.

The SEP was refreshed during 2016 and launched in March 2017 following an extensive consultation involving businesses and economic partners. The refresh process enabled the region to reflect on new economic data following the end of the recession and the changing economic policy environment including the decision to leave the European Union.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

If you can’t find what you are looking for on this page, please do get in touch.

You can call us on (0191) 561 5420 or email [email protected]