THE leader of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has pledged to help direct investment in the region as part of his new role as chairman of Middleton Enterprises.

Paul Woolston has taken the position at the £50m investment company, founded by businessman and philanthropist Jeremy Middleton, as it aims to build its role supporting growth within the region. The LEP board members were also colleagues at PwC.

Mr Woolston said: “My aim is to be a critical friend to the company as it continues to development its strategy, with the aim of Middleton Enterprises becoming a larger business that delivers upon its core values of supporting growth.”

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Mr Middleton said: “Until recently, we have been a relatively small firm with something of a family feel, but our developmental aim is to become a greater driving force for prosperity. Paul holds many of the same values as the business’ existing team and brings a wealth of experience, massive business connections and very good commercial judgement, all of which make him an ideal person to be our first chairman.”