THE former chief executive of Newcastle Building Society has been awarded an MBE for services to business and the community.

Chartered accountant Colin John Seccombe, from Chester-le-Street, helped steer the building society back into profit after the Icelandic bank crash and was instrumental in creating 500 jobs in the North-East.

The 66-year-old was also a champion of the society's community fund and under his leadership, promoted an award-winning joint initiative with cultural organisation Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books.

He joined the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation's board in 2007 and chairs the finance and investment committee.

He is also a board member of the national UK Community Foundation and is chair of the its finance and investment committee.

He is a governor for Tyne Coast College, having previously been on the board of governors of Tyne Metropolitan College. He is also a Trustee of Headway Arts.