A BUSINESS development organisation has revealed its new boss.

Brian Archer has taken over as managing director at Business Durham, the business division of Durham County Council.

Mr Archer succeeds Dr Simon Goon, and says he aims to build on the progress made by its team.

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Hailing from Leeds, Mr Archer is the former business development director for a FTSE 250 company, has been chief executive of two Business Links and was recently commercial director of Leeds City College Group.

He has also run his own business, which he says will provide a good background to understand the needs of start-ups and smaller firms in the North-East.

He said: “I believe there’s a wider role for business to not only generate prosperity but to change lives by creating new opportunities and raising aspirations.

"Business Durham is already making that happen and I look forward to supporting and leading the team as they continue to find innovative ways to help businesses in County Durham thrive and grow.

"I see this role as an exciting opportunity to make a difference.”

Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, added: “Brian is an outstanding candidate with a wealth of experience in different roles across the country, spanning various sectors at director level.

"His experience of running his own business will be particularly beneficial, and we are very much looking forward to working with him.”

Business Durham works with more than 1,000 businesses across County Durham every year.

It has helped many companies invest in the county, including Newton Aycliffe trainbuilder Hitachi Rail Europe and call centre operator ResQ, based in Seaham, east Durham.

It also manages NetPark, in Sedgefield, and has made a significant investment to expand the technology and innovation site.

Dr Goon left earlier this year to take up a job as chief operating officer at Synoptica, an early-stage artificial intelligence company in Seaham.