Business leaders to join board

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THE team of business leaders who will join council chiefs on a regional board to drive economic growth in the North East has been named.

Nine business leaders from across the region have been selected to sit on the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is tasked with stimulating economic growth in the region through job creation and regeneration.

The board will have to hit the ground running, with its first big task to cope with the row over the LEP’s enterprise zone bid. 

Gill Southern, director of Wearside-based manufacturer Wessington Cryogenics, is on the board.

A spokesman for the LEP said Ms Southern brings extensive manufacturing experience in the small-to-medium-enterprise sector, as well as a record of being a successful exporter and knowledge of the family business sector.

Paul Woolston, senior partner at PwC LLP, has been named as the chairman.

He will work alongside the leaders of the seven local authorities involved, representatives from universities and further education and eight other board members.

Sunderland and Durham board members include Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson, his Durham County counterpart Simon Henig and Angela O’Donoghue, principal of City of Sunderland College.