A BUSINESS leader and Government economic adviser will be keynote speaker at a virtual event aimed at raising charitable funds in his hometown in the North-East.

Dr Nigel Wilson, who comes from Darlington, was appointed as Group Chief Executive of international financial services company, Legal & General, in 2012.

He is also a member of the Government’s “Build Back Better” Business Council, and chairs the Innovation Working Group on the Bank of England’s Climate Financial Risk Forum.

On Thursday morning, he will give an online talk entitled “Darlington on the rise: the future of the economy” at a fundraising event organised by the town’s Mayor, Councillor Chris McEwan.

The event is being sponsored by Tees Valley law firm, The Endeavour Partnership, and is open to general entry. Audience members will not be charged but are invited to make a donation to the Mayor’s charity fund.

Councillor McEwan, who is nearing the end of his year in office, is raising money for Darlington Dementia Friendly Communities, and The Lullaby Trust, formerly the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death.

Thursday’s event follows announcements in Rishi Sunak’s recent Budget, including news that Darlington has been chosen as the location for a new Treasury hub, which will bring 750 jobs to the town.

Councillor McEwan said: “I heard Nigel speak at an event at The Sage, Gateshead, in 2018, and had no idea he was from Darlington. I thought then that it would be fantastic to find an opportunity for him to speak at a Darlington-based event, and this is it. It should be a fascinating insight into what the future of the economy holds.”

Nigel Williams, from The Endeavour Partnership added “This is an exciting time for the region, and Darlington in particular. We are delighted to be involved with this event and I am looking forward to hearing Nigel’s perspective on all this.”

Dr Wilson is also a member of the expert group advising on the Government’s social care green paper, and the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. In March, he became a member of the Government’s UK Investment Council.

After gaining a degree in economics at the University of Essex, he went on to study for a PHD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The event will be hosted by former editor of The Northern Echo, Peter Barron, and Dr Wilson will take questions after his speech.