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New Chief Economist appointed

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed a new chief economist. Chris Milne joins the enterprise partnership in September from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in London where he worked as an economic adviser.

Chris Milne, originally from Hexham, has recently been leading the evaluation of major government programmes including The Manufacturing Advisory Service, The Aerospace Technology Institute and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative.

He has also acted as economic advisor to some high profile enquiries, independent of government: these include the Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making, which explored the inner workings of the UK’s financial markets, and the Buncefield investigation, put in place following the explosions at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot.

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East LEP said: “Chris’ strengths, experience and contacts will be extremely valuable for the LEP. His track record of working on major projects involving many partners, and his understanding of government programmes is a great fit for the enterprise partnership’s approach and priorities.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris at a busy time for the enterprise partnership, as we put in place the LEP’s long-term strategic economic plan. His input will be an important aspect of the LEP’s core work.”

Chris Milne said: “This is a fantastic move for me. The breadth of the North East LEP remit means that my work will have more of a macro-economic focus than most of my previous governmental roles. I’m excited about starting at the enterprise partnership and looking forward to meeting with its partners, regional businesses and public sector organisations. It also means I’m able to move back home to the North East, which is great for me and my family.”

Chris has worked across a range of Whitehall departments since joining the Government Economic Service as part of the economist fast-stream from university in 2005. These include the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Work and Pensions.

He takes over the role of chief economist at the enterprise partnership from Mauricio Armellini who is now agent for North East England at the Bank of England. Chris was born in Sunderland and grew up in Hexham, Northumberland.