Jeremy Middleton (left) with Steve McNicol of Muckle LLP.

Business people from across the region put their questions to North East mayoral hopeful Jeremy Middleton at a special event organised by Newcastle-based commercial law firm, Muckle LLP.

In the first of a series of sessions with candidates running to be the North East’s first mayor, business professionals had the opportunity to meet and question Mr Middleton, the self-made businessman and philanthropist who was the first contender to declare an intention to stand in the race. As more candidates come forward Muckle LLP plans to offer them the same opportunity.

At the event, held at Muckle’s offices at Time Central, on Newcastle’s Gallowgate, Mr Middleton answered questions on a wide range of topics, including the nature of the North East devolution deal, how he will help businesses create the 100,000 jobs he believes the North East needs, and what he would do about the region’s skills gap.

The election is expected to be held in May 2017, when voters from County Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear will go to the polls. Similar elections are expected to be held in other key Northern Powerhouse areas, including Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and the Tees Valley.

Jeremy Middleton said: “I’d like to thank Muckle LLP for the opportunity to speak to so many people from the business communities. Between now the election I hope to speak to thousands of people in companies throughout the North East. Our region has the highest unemployment in the whole of the UK. To tackle this effectively by creating 100,000 jobs, our mayor must understand why companies chose to come here, and why they don’t.

“Today, for every small business our investment funds help, nine are turned away. This means businesses can’t grow and create jobs. As mayor I would establish a billion pound jobs and investment fund that would make our region the best place in the country to start and grow a business.”

Stephen McNicol, Client and Strategic Development Partner at Muckle LLP, said: “It is important that before people vote, they have as much information about the North East mayoral candidates as possible, and that the candidates know what is going on in the business community. We hope our guests found this worthwhile and look forward to welcoming other candidates to similar events in future.”

ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF MIDDLETON ENTERPRISES

CONTACT: Chris Rowell on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton is a self-made businessman and philanthropist based in the North East. He 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.

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.

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 (left) with Steve McNicol of Muckle LLP.
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