Jeremy Middleton, self-made businessman and North East LEP Board Member.

North East LEP board member and self-made businessman Jeremy Middleton has criticised the regions Local Authority leaders for their approach to the devolution deal they signed last year, calling on them to show leadership and embrace change.

Mr Middleton, who was a prominent voice in support of the devolution deal, and lead a campaign culminating in a letter from nearly 100 business leaders backing it, condemned them for trying to shirk their obligations, comparing them to rogue landlords.

Jeremy Middleton said: “The region’s political leaders need to get a grip, they have done a deal and signed it and are behaving like rogue landlords trying to get out of their obligations. Their party political infighting is damaging to both the reputation and status of the north-east.

“Delays will cause Manchester and other parts of the Northern Powerhouse area to achieve the Devo deals first and setback the North East by creating the impression that we are not in the top tier.

“It is clear that some of the North East’s Labour establishment would rather maintain the status quo. Our region has the most to gain from devolution; our leading politicians should not engage in double dealing and delays, and embrace the change we need.”

ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF MIDDLETON ENTERPRISES

CONTACT: Chris Rowell on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Middleton Enterprises Ltd is a private investment company that has made a substantial contribution to the North East’s economy by investing in and providing business advice to entrepreneurial businesses.

During recent years, it has supported a number of North East businesses, generally from start-up, usually taking a minority stake and offering strategic advice to support growth.

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton is a high-profile entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Newcastle. He started his career as a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble before working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Marketing Consultant. He co-founded HomeServe, now a FTSE 250 company which operates in the UK, the USA, France, Spain and Italy, and remains a shareholder with a seat on the Executive Committee. He is a director at North East based energy and water consultancy company Utilitywise PLC.

Mr Middleton and his family are active supporters of Maggie’s Centre and World Vision, an international charity which works to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

Mr Middleton has carried out a range of sponsored fundraising for a variety of charities which to date include the North Pole, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, The Haute Route, Mount McKinley, Mount Elbrus and a cycle ride from London to Paris.

Mr Middleton has been a Board Member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2011 and is Chairman of the North East LEP Investment Fund, which makes recommendations to the LEP Board for the £25m Growing Places Fund and the £30m Infrastructure Fund.

In 2012 Jeremy was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Politics and Charities.

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Jeremy Middleton, self-made businessman and North East LEP Board Member.
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