Business leaders sought to guide North East Local Enterprise Partnership's new Growth Hub

Regional business leaders are being encouraged to apply for positions on the North East LEP's Business Support Board

Paul Varley
Paul Varley

Business leaders are being sought to help inform and lead a key component of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan.

The North East LEP is looking for well-connected businesspeople from across the region to join its Business Support Board, which will lead the formation of the new North East ‘Growth Hub’ which aims to transform access to business support in the North East.

As part of the its wider North East Business Support Programme, the North East LEP is currently developing the digital Growth Hub which will act as a conduit for business support and funding providers in the region.

The Hub will provide a single point of reference for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking support, advice and finance to help them grow.

Now the North East LEP is looking for representation from across sectors to form the Business Support Board, to help shape the development of the Hub which is scheduled to launch on April 1, 2015.

Up to eight business leaders from across the region will be required to commit an estimated two days every quarter over the next three years.

The Business Support Board will comprise business leaders and members of the North East LEP Board, and will oversee and advise on programme implementation and development.

North East LEP Board member Paul Varley explained: “Our ambition is clear. We will help businesses find and utilise the right information, expert advice and finance to thrive and grow.

“The Business Support Programme is an essential part of the North East Strategic Economic Plan. It provides the framework for an investment of over £200m in access to finance and business support over six years.

“This investment will increase profitability, wages and employment across the economy. Specifically, we will invest over £40m in developing the business support offer, ensuring that the support services and products on offer meet the needs of business.

Fellow board member Gill Southern added: “The North East Growth Hub is at the heart of this growth programme. The hub will make it easy for businesses to find the right support at the right time for the right results. Created for business and led by business, the highly networked digital hub will drive growth, productivity and trade, ultimately creating more and better jobs in the North East.”

The deadline to apply for the unpaid Business Support Board positions is October 10.

Those interested should contact Dinah Jackson, Strategic Economic Plan policy and programme lead at the North East LEP, on Dinah.Jackson@nelep.co.uk.

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