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Business & Economy

North East LEP appoints Lucy Winskell as chair of its board

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed a new chair of its board.

Lucy Winskell replaces Andrew Hodgson, who has held the role for the last four years.

Lucy Winskell is pro-vice chancellor (employability and partnerships) at Northumbria University and brings a wealth of experience to the influential LEP position.

She has been a member of the executive team at Northumbria since 2010, having made the transition into higher education following a 28-year career as a litigation lawyer.

The North East LEP is one of 38 regional economic development organisations across the country, covering the local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Lucy’s non-executive career has been focussed on economic growth and regeneration within the region.

Her roles have included board member of the North East Regional Investment Fund and North East Access to Finance, non-executive director of Government Office North East, chair of the North East Industrial Development Board, board member of ING, vice chair of BE Group and a member of CBI Regional Council.

Lucy has also been chair of the board of the North East England Chamber of Commerce for six years and will stand down from this role in due course.

Speaking about her appointment, she said: “Having supported the work of the North East LEP since its inception, I am delighted to be appointed chair of the board.

“Andrew Hodgson leaves a fantastic legacy and I’m looking forward to building on his work to date. It’s a privilege to work with the board, the executive and the LEP’s stakeholders, both regionally and nationally, to contribute to the successful delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan.

“Given the significant challenges currently presented by COVID-19, it is vitally important that we formulate a cohesive response centred on the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurism that our region excels at.

“Collaboration and partnership working have never been more important than now.

“My priority will be to support the chief executive and her team, and work with our board and partners, both regionally and nationally to ensure the North East emerges stronger and more resilient, as well as a more sustainable and equitable region to live, learn and work.”

Outgoing chair of the board, Andrew Hodgson added: “Pre-COVID-19 we had achieved base camp, with steady progress in terms of regional employment figures, our ambition to create more and better jobs, and the highest amount of foreign inward investment outside of London.

“Now what we need is continuity, new energy and focus and Lucy offers all of these and more.

“I know she’ll bring her significant experience to bear as government devolves more responsibility to the regions to make sure great things happen for the North East.”