Durham Business Club has made two appointments to its board of directors.

JEAN FOSTER and STEVE BARKER join the board as non-executive directors.

Ms Foster, as well as being a partner in Foster Opticians, is an independent business advisor and works with the Northern Pinetree Trust, which helps people with disabilities to start their own businesses, and Durham University, on its management development programmes.

She said: ''I am very committed to the idea of lifelong learning and promoting links between education and business, and I think Durham Business Club has an important role to play in this.

"I am looking forward to working with fellow directors and the businesses that are members of the club.''

Mr Barker is the managing director of his own company, Sales and Marketing Excellence.

He also has experience in managing and developing sales teams in the engineering sector.

He said: "The North-East has a great tradition in manufacturing and other diverse industries, and if I can contribute in some small way to the wealth and prosperity of this wonderful area I will feel that this is a job well done."

Durham Business Club is a business membership and training organisation established nearly 25 years ago to help small and medium-sized enterprises to support one another and expand their network of business contacts. The board of directors is made up of three full-time executive directors and nine non-executives drawn from the local business community.