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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed Andrew Clark to the new role of Programme Lead for the energy sector, with the aim of leveraging the region’s strengths in this area to attract investment and create more and better jobs.

Andrew, who has extensive programme leadership experience, having delivered energy and low carbon programmes nationally and internationally, will be working with public and private sector organisations, universities, local and national government, key networks and national research and innovation facilities based in the North East including the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in Blyth, to create a coordinated energy strategy for the region.

Andrew said: “The North East has such a breadth and depth of strengths in the energy sector, with many past successes and huge potential to create jobs and economic opportunities for the region.

“A key part of my role will be collaborating with the organisations operating in the sector, working with them to shape a strategy which supports their own goals while benefiting the sector and the region as a whole.”

Subsea, offshore and energy technologies is one of the sectors identified in the Strategic Economic Plan as an area of opportunity for the North East, with more than 15,000 people working in the sector and significant potential to create more and better jobs.

Helen Golightly, Chief Executive of the North East LEP, said: “The energy sector is an area in which the North East excels. We have the skills, the infrastructure and a well-deserved worldwide reputation for excellence. Andrew will be working closely with our colleagues in the sector to make sure we are capitalising on our strengths as a region, building links with government and bringing investment and jobs to the North East.

“Andrew’s knowledge about the opportunities and challenges in the energy agenda, and his record of practical leadership and delivery in key sectors of the North East economy will provide a strong platform for the work the LEP aims to take forward with partners to drive forward the energy component of the Strategic Economic Plan.”

Andrew added: “I’m looking forward to getting out there and meeting the people who are already making our energy sector a success. We have a strong story to tell and I will be working together with our stakeholders to tell that story and use our strengths to benefit the regional economy.”

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Cllr Iain Malcolm (left ) with Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive at Hellens Group.