Introducing our Business and Sector Growth Programme

Colin Bell

Our ambition for the North East is to level up the North East economy through increasing:

  • the rate of people starting new businesses
  • levels of business productivity
  • the number of businesses who are scaling-up.  
  • The number of businesses who export

Raising performance in each of these areas is critical to the creation of more and better jobs. Although gaps exist in each of these areas between the North East and the rest of the UK our business community is innovative, collaborative and ambitious and we can look to the future with confidence.

The North East LEP’s Business and Sector Growth Programme will continue to nurture an ecosystem that is growth-oriented, dynamic and productive where businesses start, invest, grow and thrive.

Colin Bell
Business and Sector Growth Director

Meet the Business and Sector Growth team
Colin Bell Colin Bell
Business and Sector Growth Director
[email protected]
Ken Arnold Ken Arnold
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Karen Berry Karen Berry
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Fleur Brown Fleur Brown
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Emily Carlson Emily Carlson
Special Adviser (Programmes)
[email protected]
Andrew Clark Andrew Clark
Energy Programme Lead
[email protected]
Peter Cragg Peter Cragg
Growth Hub Support Officer
[email protected]
Marissa Granath Marissa Granath
Programme Manager (Energy Accelerator)
[email protected]
Craig Harrison Craig Harrison
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Laura Hartwell Laura Hartwell
Business Support Officer
[email protected]
Alan Hodgkiss Alan Hodgkiss
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Elaine Jackson Elaine Jackson
Programme Management Assistant
[email protected]
Dawn Jarvis Dawn Jarvis
Triage Project Manager
[email protected]
Kami Kundi Kami Kundi
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Helen Lee Helen Lee
Programme Manager – Growth Hub
[email protected]
Andrew Leigh Andrew Leigh
Project Coordinator
[email protected]
David Lynch David Lynch
Energy Innovation Partnership Manager
[email protected]
Karl McCracken Karl McCracken
Programme Manager – Advanced Manufacturing
[email protected]
Bobo Ng Bobo Ng
Programme Manager (Energy Accelerator)
[email protected]
Parveer Pannu Parveer Pannu
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Justin Souter Justin Souter
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]
Ian Wood Ian Wood
Growth Hub Connector
[email protected]

Here’s how the Business and Sector Growth Programme links into the key areas of the Strategic Economic Plan:

The North East Growth Hub offers impartial advice and guidance to North East businesses to start, grow and become more resilient. You can find out more about the North East Growth Hub here.

Peer Networks brings together diverse cohorts of business leaders so SMEs can discuss business challenges with peers.

Part of the North East’s COVID-19 economic response, Peer Networks enables businesses to come together to address common issues and challenges, and support one another to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more.

This programme allows entrepreneurs in the region access to expert advice and support to help them create the high growth business of tomorrow. We provide the introductions and the business support needed to bring business ideas to life, bigger and better than people can alone. 

You can visit the High Potential Startups website here.

Scaleup North East works with businesses demonstrating both the hunger and the potential to achieve high levels of growth.  Businesses are matched with a Scaleup Partner who will work with them to achieve defined objectives tailored to their business needs.

Visit Scaleup North East to find out more

Supply Chain North East is all about a fresh pair of eyes. Our market experts work with businesses to identify new opportunity that play to the strengths and core competencies of a business to attract new customers and enter new markets and supply chains.

Visit Supply Chain North East to find out more

Business support service providers are at the heart of making the North East Growth Hub the success it is today. The provider network plays a vital role in the development of our business community and your continued input helps to shape our business support ecosystem.

We work on developing strategies and plans for the sectors identified in the North East Strategic Plan (Advanced Manufacturing, Digital, Energy, Health and Life Sciences).

You can find out more about ours plans for growth in these areas here.

Meet our Business and Sector Growth Board:
Ammar Mirza CBE Ammar Mirza CBE
Private sector Board member, Chair of Business Growth Board
Toby Bridges Toby Bridges
CEO of the NBT Group Ltd. Chair of The Exchange North Tyneside, Founding Director of Vytech Solutions Ltd.
Liz Bromley Liz Bromley
Chief Executive, Newcastle College Group
Paul Butler Paul Butler
CEO of North East Automotive Alliance
Yvonne Gale Yvonne Gale
Board member
Darren Laybourn Darren Laybourn
Board member
Ryan Maughan Ryan Maughan
Managing Director of AVID Technology Group Limited
Patrick Melia Patrick Melia
Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council
Jane Robinson Jane Robinson
Dean for Engagement and Place at Newcastle University
Steve Underwood Steve Underwood
Private sector, Business Growth Board Member
Kate Wickham Kate Wickham
Board member

Latest Business Growth news

A once in a generation opportunity to modernise business support

Colin Bell, Business and Sector Growth Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, explains why evolution is key to simplifying the business support landscape…

In conversation with Ammar Mirza CBE, Business Growth Board chair, about the North East LEP’s annual review and the work of the Business Growth team

It’s been an emotional and dramatic time for North East businesses, and there’s more change to come. As crucial pandemic funding and support from the…

Support available to develop innovation projects in preparation for future funding opportunities

North East organisations are being offered support from a team of innovation experts to prepare projects for future funding opportunities. Alan Welby, Innovation Director at…

In conversation about the opportunities electrification offers the North East

In conversation with Paul Butler, Chief Executive of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA); and Ryan Maughan, founder and MD of AVID Technology, about the…

Universities support North East’s economic recovery: Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East

Universities have a vital role to play in helping the North East economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The work being delivered by North East…

Future proofing the North East economy

The coronavirus pandemic has seen a period of accelerated change across the world that has left many businesses thinking long and hard about what the…

IN CONVERSATION WITH…Colin Bell, Business Growth Director of the North East LEP and Ammar Mirza CBE, newly appointed Chair of the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board, talk about their aspirations for the future.

Ammar, you are a North East LEP Board member and the newly appointed Chair of the Business Growth Board. What is your ambition for this…

North East Business Growth Board welcomes five new members

Five new appointments have been made to the Business Growth Board of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), supporting the LEP in achieving its…

North East LEP bolsters Supply Chain North East to rise to PPE challenge

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has bolstered the North East Growth Hub’s Supply Chain North East programme to help regional businesses rise to…