The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed Kate Wickham, Managing Director of Gateshead-based Gate 7, as a board member.
Kate, who in 2017, was recognised with a MBE for services to export and outward investment, joins current board members from the private, public and education sectors.
Kate said: “Joining the North East LEP board felt like a really good opportunity to do something for the North East. I’m looking forward to working together with the existing board members to use our mix of backgrounds and experience to benefit the region. I think I can provide an alternative viewpoint and I’m honoured to have been appointed to the board.”
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.
68% of Gate 7’s products are exported to Europe, India and North America and the company achieved the Queen’s Award for Exports in 2005 and 2018.
Kate added: “The North East has a great track record for successful exporting and we’re a hard-working region with a lot to offer. There’s no end to what we can achieve here given the opportunities and I’ll be working hard to support businesses in the North East, using my experience in manufacturing, exporting and growing an SME.”
Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “Our board members play a vital role in representing the business and education communities in the North East as we drive forward in our plan to create more and better jobs here in the region.
“Kate is a great addition to the board and she continues to maintain the diversity of skills and experience we are fortunate to have. Her clear belief in the scope for growth and success in the region’s economy based upon her personal experience and networks is both a huge asset and a leading example of what can be achieved.”
Kate has been appointed to the board for a period of three years. Other members of the North East LEP board are:
Andrew Hodgson (Chair); Heidi Mottram (Vice Chair); Gillian Hall; David Land; Andrew Moffat; Mark Thompson; Ammar Mirza CBE; Farooq Hakim; Cllr Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council; Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council; Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council; Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council; Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council; Norma Redfearn, Selected Mayor, North Tyneside Council; Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council; Professor Andrew Wathey and Karen Redhead.