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Two new appointments have been made at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to drive forward the region’s energy strategy and help to accelerate economic growth in the North East.

David Lynch joins the team as Energy Innovation Partnership Manager and Josh Sawyer has been appointed as Rural Energy Officer.

They will be working with Andrew Clark who is already in post at the North East LEP as Energy Programme Lead. Andrew said: “We have recently launched the region’s new energy strategy, Energy for Growth, which aims to bring new economic opportunities to our region. We’re now taking the strategy into delivery, and have brought in David and Josh, both with great expertise in the energy sector, to work with partners to deliver on our ambitions for the North East.”

David Lynch brings with him 15 years’ experience of working within the energy sector, including roles at National Energy Action and the Energy Systems Catapult, where he managed test and demonstration projects to deploy new low carbon technologies. He will now be working with members of the newly-formed North East Energy Catalyst, which unites the region’s leading energy partners to showcase how the North East can deliver solutions to global energy challenges.

David, who completed an MA at the University of Durham, said: “As the country moves towards achieving net zero carbon emissions, I’m looking forward to showing that the North East can be a centre of excellence in clean growth and decarbonisation through its energy assets.”

The Energy Innovation Partnership Manager role is part funded by European Regional Development Funding, via the Innovation SuperNetwork’s ‘Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters’ project.

As Rural Energy Officer, Josh Sawyer will support development and delivery of rural energy projects across the North East LEP region, addressing the specific challenges and opportunities that rural areas face, and specifically assisting community-led projects across both the North East and Tees Valley to access the Government’s Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF). RCEF funding is being delivered via the BEIS North East Yorkshire & Humber Energy Hub, including part funding for the role.

“The North East has a large and varied rural area and I’ve worked with communities across the region in my previous roles within the energy industry,” said Josh. “Decarbonisation is a huge change which will affect all our businesses and communities over the coming years and it’s my role to make sure that our rural areas are a key part of this.”

Andrew Clark added: “Everything we do contributes towards our ultimate mission of bringing North East partners together to deliver on national energy policy and bring more and better jobs to the North East. I’m extremely happy to welcome David and Josh to the team, and looking forward to continuing our work with businesses, academia and communities across the North East.”

The North East Energy for Growth strategy identifies 13 themes where the North East can both contribute to national policy and bring more and better jobs to the region, ranging from low-emission transport to heat networks, and geothermal energy from old mine workings.

Read about the North East Energy for Growth strategy.

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