ALAN Purvis, who recently took over at the helm of one of the UK's most successful direct mail companies, is to join the board of East Durham Business Service (EDBS)

As managing director of the Peterlee-based MetroMail, Alan is passionate about the area and its people and is determined to help other firms mirror his company's success.

"There's so much untapped potential here for this area and its people. I believe we have a responsibility in the business community to develop that to the full, to identify and explore all market opportunities and provide a sustained and innovative approach to progress."

He added: "My children are growing up in County Durham and I want them to have decent jobs and enjoy their lives in the area. By joining the board of EDBS, I'm hoping to contribute personally to the successful future of the region.''

Alan, 36, will be one of the 11-strong board which was formed when the East Durham Development Agency joined forces with the District of Easington.