Lucy Winskell OBE

Chair of the Board

Lucy Winskell is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employability & Partnerships) at Northumbria University.

She has been a member of the Executive team at Northumbria University since 2010, having made the transition into higher education following a 28-year career as a litigation lawyer.

Lucy’s non-executive career has been focussed on economic growth and regeneration within the North East.

Her regional roles have included Board Member of the North East Regional Investment Fund and North East Access to Finance (both supporting SME growth); non-executive Director of Government Office North East; Chair of the North East Industrial Development Board; Board Member of ING; and Chair of Board, North East England Chamber of Commerce.

Lucy was  Chair of the Board of the North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) for six years, standing down at the end of that term in October 2020.

She has also been a strong advocate for the region at a national level. As a member of Arts and Humanities Research Council she highlighted the importance of the cultural and creative sector in a regional economy, and as Vice Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) she has ensured a regional voice forms part of BCC’s lobbying and policy work.

You can read Lucy’s Register of Interests here.

Heidi Mottram OBE

Vice Chair of the Board

Chief Executive Officer of the Northumbrian Water Group Limited and Northumbrian Water Limited since 2010.

Heidi Mottram’s success at Northumbrian Water Group follows on from an excellent track record in the rail industry where her career began with British Rail in the mid-1980s. She progressed through a variety of senior leadership roles in British Rail and, following privatisation, in Great North Eastern Railway, Midland Mainline, Arriva Trains Northern and Managing Director of Northern Rail, the largest train operator in the UK.

She was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list 2010 for services to the rail industry and a CBE in the Birthday Honours list 2018 for services to the water industry and business community.

Mrs Mottram is currently also a Board Member of Centrica, the CBI, WaterAid and is also Vice-Chair of Newcastle University Council.

In 2016, her commitment to the community was recognised when she was selected to be the Prince of Wales’ Business Ambassador to the North East, in conjunction with Business in the Community. In the same year Mrs Mottram was also named North East Business Executive of the Year recognising her significant contribution to business in the North East of England. More recently, in November 2020, Mrs Mottram received the Institute of Directors Yorkshire & North East Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice, recognising her strong and effective leadership within NWG and across the North of England.

Under her leadership NWG achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development in 2014 and has been the only water company on the World’s Most Ethical companies list for nine years (2010-2017 and 2019-2020). NWG has twice been named the UK’s Utility Company of the Year under Heidi’s leadership. The Company was also named as Water Company of the Year in 2018 and 2020 as well as being awarded the British Quality Foundation’s UK Excellence Award 2018, one of the highest accolades any business can achieve.

You can read Heidi’s Register of Interests here.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn

Vice Chair, Main Board. Elected Mayor, North Tyneside Council

Norma Redfearn CBE took up a four-year term of office as Elected Mayor of North Tyneside in May 2013, and was re-elected for a further four years in May 2017.

As the Authority’s principal public spokesperson, her role is to give political direction to the Council, appoint Cabinet and Deputy Mayor, decide on the scheme of delegation, Chair meetings of Cabinet and represent the Council on external bodies.

Norma has always lived in North Tyneside and has a real passion for the borough in addition to an extensive track-record in Local Government.

Before becoming the Elected Mayor she represented Riverside Ward in North Shields as Ward Councillor between 2004 and 2013. During this time Norma also served as the 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 headteacher and four years in an education advisory capacity, before moving into education related consultancy.

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

Andrew Moffat, CBE

Chair of Investment Board

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.

Gillian Hall

Chair of Innovation Board, member of Investment Board

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.

Ammar Mirza CBE

Private sector Board member, Chair of Business Growth Board

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.

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.

Tony Appleton

Innovation Board Member

Tony is a Chartered Mechanical Engineering with over 10 years experience in the Offshore Renewables sector and over 20 years experience in the power / energy sector having worked for some major organisations including Rolls Royce, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour Beatty.  Tony now runs his own consultancy business supporting companies in the Offshore and Interconnection sectors (globally).

Emma Banks

Head of Ramarketing

With over 20 years experience in the industry and with a focus on clinical research, you could say Emma Banks knows a thing or two about the global pharmaceutical and life sciences contract services sector.

Emma began work in medical research having earned a PhD in Immunology from the University of Liverpool. After two years of post-doctoral research, Emma went on to join small biometrics CRO, Quanticate, leading the data management team.

Having been a board member of the Society of Clinical Data Management (SCDM) and taken the role of conference co-chair for it’s annual conference in the USA, Emma has developed a strong reputation amongst the industry.

A seasoned conference speaker, Emma’s insights have been covered both nationally and internationally at Biofocus and Precision Medicine conferences in the UK and SCDM in both Europe and the US.

Today, Emma heads up ramarketing, a specialist PR, digital and design agency, for research and development, manufacturing, packaging and technology companies operating in the global biotech and pharmaceutical outsourcing sector.

An advocate of both the life sciences sector and the North East, in her spare time, Emma is a non-executive board member of Bionow and is involved with a number of groups who are working to improve understanding of both sector challenges as well as those surrounding employability and skills.