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Professor Peter Fidler, vice-chancellor of the University of Sunderland, is succeeding Professor Chris Brink on the board of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership as the representative from the North East LEP area’s four universities. Professor Fidler will sit alongside business, local government and further education leaders.

Professor Fidler is vice-chancellor and chief executive of the University of Sunderland. A town planner by profession, his career has encompassed research and consultancy as well as academic and professional posts. He has contributed to civic and regional economic development as a member of several development bodies in the North East of England.

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East LEP said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Peter to the board. His experience and commitment to the North East’s business and university sectors will be of great value to the LEP. We would also like to thank Chris Brink for his immense contribution and wise counsel in his time as board member, which have been invaluable during the LEP’s first two years.”

Professor Fidler takes over from Professor Chris Brink, vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, who is standing down from the role as North East LEP board member at the end of his two year term.

Professor Fidler said:
“The University of Sunderland has been involved with the North East LEP from the outset, and contributed significantly to the North East Independent Economic Review. I am looking forward to being part of the decision-making body at the centre of the LEP, representing the area’s universities, in helping to put the recommendations of that review into action to create more and better jobs across the North East.”

Professor Chris Brink recommended Professor Fidler to the North East LEP as his replacement. Chris Brink said he had enjoyed his time as a board member and added: “We all believe that higher education representation adds value to the LEP in many areas, and likewise that interaction with the LEP is valuable to the universities. The North East LEP economy has four complementary universities bringing world class research expertise and many thousands of young people to the region every year.

“On subjects that universities specialise in such as innovation, high level skills or civic engagement and culture, the role of the North East LEP board has never been more important. I’m sure Peter will make a central and very influential contribution in the critical months and years ahead.”

The North East LEP board includes business leaders Jeremy Middleton of Middleton Enterprises; Dr Arnab Basu of Kromek; Michael Bellamy of PII Pipelines; Andrew Hodgson of SMD; David Land of Gestamp Tallent; Gill Southern MBE of Wessington Cryogenics, Paul Varley, and Gillian Hall of Watson Burton LLP.

They work alongside the leaders and elected mayor of the seven local authorities, Cllr Mick Henry of Gateshead, Cllr Simon Henig of Durham, Cllr Nick Forbes of Newcastle, Mayor Norma Redfearn of North Tyneside, Cllr Grant Davey of Northumberland, Cllr Iain Malcolm of South Tyneside and Cllr Paul Watson of Sunderland, as well as the representative of Further Education colleges, Anne Isherwood, principal of Sunderland College.

From 2002 until 2012 Professor Fidler was a non executive director of health authorities in England- the North of England cluster of Strategic Health Authorities, the North East Strategic Health Authority, and the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority. Professor Fidler is a founding director of the Sunderland Business Group, a board member and former chair of the National Glass Centre at Sunderland and was a non-executive director of Sunderland ARC Regeneration Company and Codeworks.

Peter Fidler is also a Trustee of the Friends of Sunderland Minster, Red House Academy, the University of Sunderland Development Trust and other University of Sunderland subsidiary companies. He is also a board member of the Sunderland Partnership Board and Sunderland’s Economic Leadership Board. He chairs the Sunderland City International Strategy Group.

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 790246 or 07711 698246.

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