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Former lawyer and leading business figure is new NECC Chair

Press release   •   Feb 07, 2014 00:00 GMT

Northumbria University's Pro-Vice Chancellor, Lucy Winskell, has taken the role of Chairman of The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), the region's largest business membership organisation.

Lucy has been associated with the NECC since 2008, having served as Vice President, and as a member of the organisation's Council. She joined the Board in 2010.

She takes over from Ferguson Transport Executive Chairman, Alan Ferguson, who served with distinction in the role for seven years and has also represented the organisation as its President.

A litigation lawyer for 28 years prior to her joining Northumbria University, Lucy is a former member of the National Law Society Council and was the first female President of Newcastle Law Society. She also has extensive experience of working with regional, national and international businesses.

Her role at the NECC as Chairman of the Board will focus largely on growing NECC as a business and building on the success of current commercial activities. The position of Chairman is separate from that of the President, who represents the interests of the members.

Lucy said: "I'm really pleased to be working with James Ramsbotham as Chief Executive, and with President of The Chamber, Dave Laws. They both do an exceptional job as champions of North East business, and I intend to do all I can to support them in the role of Chairman, and to ensure the Chamber continues to be run as an efficient and commercially strong business."

A partner in a private law practice until 2010, she was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria for Business and Engagement to lead the development of the University's relationships with Government, public bodies and business. The role also involves shaping the University's contribution to regional, economic and social development.

"Throughout my legal career my focus was very much on helping businesses to solve problems. This is something I have carried through into my role at Northumbria, which itself is a large business with an annual income approaching £220m, over 3,000 employees and around 35,000 students contributing significantly to the local economy," said Lucy.

"One of my key priorities is the enterprise and entrepreneurship agenda and preparing young people for work. Ensuring our graduates are aware of the employment opportunities in the North East and ready for work is hugely beneficial for them, and the prosperity of the region."

A Law graduate from Newcastle University, Lucy was awarded The Journal scholarship to do an MBA at Durham University in 2004. She combined her legal practice with a number of non-executive directorships and roles in both public and private organisations.

She is a non-executive director of Darlington Building Society, Deputy Chair of the Business Enterprise Group and a non-executive Director of North East Access to Finance Subsidiary companies. Previous roles include NECC Vice President, non-executive Directorships at Government Office North East, and the Newcastle and Gateshead City Development Company, 1NG. Lucy was also the UK Chairman of the British American Project.

NECC Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, said: "With her wealth of business experience and connections both in the region, nationally and beyond, Lucy has been an invaluable member of the NECC Council for the past six years so to secure her services as Chairman is excellent for North East business.

"I would also like to thank Alan Ferguson for his enormously important contribution during his tenure as Chairman."

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