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Founder and MD for Fusion PR Creative, John McCabe, and TSG Marine Operations Director, Erika Leadbeater, replace outgoing Board members David Land and Farooq Hakim. Carol Botten, Chief Executive of VONNE (Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East) also joins the North East LEP Board to ensure the region’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) is better represented.
Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP said: “As well as playing an active role in helping deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan, our Board represents the views and opinions of the North East’s public, private, education and VCSE sectors.
“They help ensure we work in the best interest of the region and deliver our aim of creating 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
“On behalf of everyone at the North East LEP, I’d like to welcome Erika, Carol and John to the Board. They are all hugely respected in their fields and their contribution to our work in growing the North East economy will be invaluable.”
John McCabe is the current chair of Gateshead College and immediate past president of the North East England Chamber of Commerce. He has held senior positions at some of the North East’s largest organisations and launched strategic communications agency, Fusion, in 2013.
John said: “I hope my experience of working in and with businesses large and small, of setting up my own business and of negotiating at the highest levels of government will be of value to colleagues across the North East LEP and to the wider region.
“The new government has made a number of eye-catching commitments to our region and the North East LEP will have a key role to play in ensuring these are met, enabling economic growth and ensuring more people in the North East can achieve their full potential.
“The North East LEP has an exciting agenda and I’m really looking forward to playing my part in its delivery.”
Erika Leadbeater is Operations Director at South Tyneside-based TSG Marine, which delivers marine access services to the offshore energy sector. Erika began her career as a private practice solicitor specialising in shipping and the carriage of goods before joining TSG Marine in 2013. Erika is an advocate for small businesses and a member of the UK Government’s SME Advisory Board.
Erika said: “I know from experience that the North East is a great place to live and work. In fact, when our business was getting started, we chose to base ourselves in the region due to its strategic location, the skills of local people and the support for small businesses. I am honoured to be joining the team at the North East LEP to support the great work being undertaken to grow the economy, create jobs and promote the region.”
Carol Botten has been CEO of VONNE since September 2018 following four years as Deputy CEO. With almost 25 years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector, Carol is passionate about supporting the sector’s leadership and governance capabilities and developing new programmes and projects to increase organisations’ sustainability and resilience.
She is a member of the North East Skills Advisory Panel, as well as a member of Northern Powergrid’s Social Issues Expert Group and Stakeholder Panel, the North East Brexit Group and the Cabinet Office’s National Leadership programme.
Carol said: “I am delighted to have been selected to represent the VCSE sector on the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Board.
“I have worked closely with the organisation for a number of years as a member of the Skills Advisory Panel and on recent refreshes of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, so I have a strong understanding of the LEP, its role and key strategies for the region.
“I look forward to developing that relationship further and advocating for the role that VCSE organisations have to play in the economic development of the region and to encourage an inclusive approach, to ensure all communities and individuals can benefit from economic development activities.”
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) is a public, private and education sector partnership that works with businesses, partners and stakeholders in the region to deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan, growing a more productive, inclusive and sustainable regional economy.