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An interim chief executive will be appointed within the next month to lead the North East LEP as the recruitment of a permanent appointment continues.

The North East LEP and North East Combined Authority (neca) have taken the decision to put a temporary chief executive in place to lead the LEP through the next six months to continue its work investing in economic growth.

The permanent chief executive post was offered to an outstanding international candidate – but she informed the LEP this week that reluctantly she cannot take up the job for personal reasons.

The recruitment process for a new permanent chief executive is continuing to find an exceptional leader to head up the important agenda of delivering more and better jobs for the North East.

Paul Woolston, North East LEP Chair, said: “It is important that we make an interim appointment now to lead the LEP forward, at a crucial time for the local economy and following the General Election.

“It is frustrating and disappointing that we haven’t been able to make the permanent appointment we wished to make and that this process has taken so long.

“We understand the frustration that businesses must feel about the appointment process and we share those.

“We are working hard to secure the very best possible chief executive for the North East LEP, one with the proven leadership qualities, drive and passion that this post requires.

“This has taken far longer than we all had hoped but we will find and appoint the leader our region deserves as quickly as we can.”

Simon Henig, Chair of North East Combined Authority and Vice Chair of North East LEP, said: “We are all clear in our determination to appoint an outstanding chief executive, one that can take forward our bold economic agenda. Clearly, we all hoped that person would be in place now.

“We remain focussed on working together to complete the recruitment process and appoint a permanent chief executive of the calibre that the post requires to build on the momentum achieved to date to deliver long term economic growth.”

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Dinah Jackson, Rural Growth Programme