OBE is just the job for North East Bic boss Paul McEldon
The man who has helped to create thousands of jobs and businesses across the North East has been honoured by Her Majesty.
North East Business and Innovation Centre (Bic) boss Paul McEldon has been awarded an OBE in today’s Birthday Honours list for services to Local Growth in the North East of England
Paul, 54, has been Chief Executive of the North East Bic since 2001, having overseen its creation of as a new not for profit/social enterprise company after the Sunderland Training and Enterprise Council, where he had been Finance Director, was wound up.
Under his leadership, it has become a key business support organisation not just for Sunderland, but the entire North East, utilising European Union and European Regional Development Fund funding to support local growth across the region.
Under his leadership, the Bic has expanded as a social enterprise by creating new satellite hubs in Darlington in 2014 and Washington a year later.
He developed the Bic’s Big Ideas division, to support young entrepreneurs between 11 and 18 in gaining enterprise skills and enabled two other regional Enterprise Agencies to continue by merging into BIC “group” activities.
Ahead of the game on the rise of the low carbon economy im the region and the need to reduce emissions, Paul has enabled investment in renewable energy across the Bic, greatly reducing the site’s carbon footprint.
Today’s commendation says he ‘has committed BIC investment and resources into business start-up, who in turn have created hundreds of jobs across Tyne and Wear and the wider region’.
“In his tenure the BIC has supported over 4,000 companies to start up with the creation of 7,500 jobs across the region - 800 businesses are physically located on BIC sites across the region and they currently employ 1,200 people.”
Paul said he was ‘humbled’ by his nomination, but it would not have been possible without the support of the Bic team: “There are some great people I work with and have worked with who just want to make things better,” he said.
"I am a North East lad and I believe in the North East and its potential.
"Really, all I have done is what I see as my job – trying to help people to realise their aspirations.”