NEPIC, the North East Process Industry Cluster, has named former MP Iain Wright as its new Chief Executive.
Iain, 45, served as a Labour MP for Hartlepool over the past 13 years and was most recently Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
He was Minister for Housing and Planning between 2007 and 2009 and Minister for Schools and Apprenticeships in 2009-10. He served as Shadow Minister for Industry between 2011 and 2015.
Prior to being elected as MP for Hartlepool in 2004, he worked at One NorthEast, the regional development agency.
Together with Ian Swales and the Board of Directors, Iain will focus on representing member firms, championing the region’s process industries and identifying growth opportunities.
Ian Swales said: “I am delighted that Iain has agreed to join NEPIC. He is well known for his passion for industry and passion for the North East region and I’m sure he will do an outstanding job. Iain’s decision to join NEPIC shows the huge importance of the process industries in the region and I look forward to the sector getting even stronger in the future.”
Iain will work alongside outgoing chief executive, Dr. Stan Higgins, during the summer as they coordinate a smooth and effective handover.
He said: “I am really proud and honoured to have been appointed Chief Executive. Under Stan’s excellent leadership, NEPIC is a powerful organisation, representing firms in the North East’s biggest industrial sector and working with them to create jobs and prosperity for our region. Stan will be a tough act to follow, but I am determined to work hard with companies to champion this vital sector and our great region.
“Future economic success for the North East will be based upon science, innovation, skills and a nimble and competitive manufacturing base. With great co-ordination and collaboration across industry, we can unlock still further the enormous potential of this sector in our region, ensuring that the North East of England can be seen across the world as the place to invest in chemicals, science and pharmaceuticals, and for firms in the region to export their excellent goods and services around the globe”.
Outgoing chief executive Dr Higgins added: “It’s reassuring that such an outstanding candidate has taken over this important leadership role. I believe Iain’s national business and industry experience will help NEPIC’s members and the sector into the future.”
Privately-owned and led by industry, NEPIC supports cluster members to become successful and sustainable organisations in a collaborative business environment that helps them to grow.