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New appointments add strength to North East LEP board

Four exceptional business leaders in some of the region’s most senior jobs will bring their business acumen and industry knowledge to the North East LEP as newly appointed board members.

The LEP is delighted to have appointed Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Northumbrian Water Group, Andrew Moffat, chief executive of the Port of Tyne, Farooq Hakim, North East regional director for BT and Mark Thompson, managing partner of Ryder Architecture, to its board.

They will all take up their new posts immediately, replacing out-going board members Paul Woolston, Gill Southern, Arnab Basu and Michael Bellamy.

The new board members will help guide the strategic direction of the North East LEP, making key decisions which will ensure the Strategic Economic Plan is effectively delivered in the region.

They have been appointed for their exceptional knowledge in key areas such as inward investment, infrastructure, IT and skills development and all are well connected to networks in academia, construction, business organisations, digital tech and design.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Chair, said: “We have been able to appoint four outstanding business leaders to help oversee the strategic direction of the LEP at a crucial time in its evolution.

“Their industry experience will be invaluable in helping us deliver the aims set out in the Strategic Economic Plan, as is the passion Heidi, Andrew, Farooq and Mark all have for the North East and its economic future.

“We are fortunate to be able to welcome them onto the LEP board, having four outstanding business leaders to replace the exceptional businesspeople who recently left our board.

“I would like to thank Gill Southern, Michael Bellamy, Arnab Basu and Paul Woolston for the expertise they brought to the board and their sheer dedication in ensuring the LEP best supported North East business in everything it did.”

Heidi Mottram has been Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water Group since 2010. Under her leadership, Northumbrian Water has become one of the UK’s leading water companies, officially the only water firm on the World’s Most Ethical companies list six years in a row.

She said: “The North East is such a fantastic place to live, work and visit and to have the opportunity to help strengthen its economic growth, and to champion our region both nationally and globally, is a privilege. I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow LEP board members, and the wider business community, to strengthen our partnership and to ensure that we secure vital support to enable businesses and communities to flourish.”

Andrew Moffat has been CEO of the Port of Tyne for seven years, during which time the business has achieved growth and cultural change, winning the North East Business of the Year title in 2014 and recently awarded the status of Investors in People Champion. One of the UK’s major sea ports, the Port of Tyne makes a major contribution to the economy of the region, adding over £700m to the Gross Value Added of the North East and directly and indirectly supporting almost 1500 jobs.

He said: It will be a privilege to be part of the LEP Board, and help build upon the work that has been done to support the delivery of the strategic plan for the North East. I look forward to working with the Board and all of the LEP partners to help take advantage of the existing and forthcoming opportunities for economic growth, bringing investment and jobs for the region.”

Farooq is part of the BT leadership team with 20 years’ involvement in the delivery of complex business transformation programmes, holding a number of senior roles within BT.

“I am delighted to be joining the North East LEP to help achieve strong economic growth for our region.” he said.
Mark Thompson is managing partner of Ryder Architecture, where he is responsible for the strategic development of the highly successful design company with offices across the UK and a growing international portfolio from its recently established Hong Kong office.

“I’m delighted to join the North East LEP board at this exciting time. With Devolution at the fore this could be a defining period for the future prosperity of the region” said Mark.