Northumberland Businesses Represented at Regional Level with New Appointment
Lucy Evermore has been appointed Chair of The Provider Network Steering Group, with plans to work with other providers to cement and shape future business support.
Published: 14 April 2022
Having worked at Advance Northumberland for eight years, Lucy is currently the Programme Manager for successful digital support programme, Business Northumberland.
The appointment to Chair comes after a two-year role on the steering group, which she joined in 2020 to advocate for Northumberland businesses.
The Provider Network Steering Group was created by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) four years ago to act as a regional and national voice for all the business support providers in the North East LEP area.
It provides a voice for all the organisations who are managing and delivering funded support for businesses and the group meets bi-monthly. Its aim is to improve best practice, provide opportunities to develop the capability and capacity of individuals and organisations within the Provider Network, and provide a communication channel into the North East LEP to contribute to strategic planning.
During the pandemic the group became an important mechanism. As the situation was often changing daily, the group met more frequently, contributing to the regional covid response plan as well as addressing challenges within business support delivery and compliance as a result of covid restrictions. It also shared and addressed real time concerns from the business community during a worrying time.
Following the closure of European Funding in the aftermath of Brexit, the role of the group has become even more crucial. Most recently the group drafted and submitted a letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State, to provide recommendations on how the eagerly anticipated Shared Prosperity Fund should be administered across the North East to ensure providers are able to continue to administer businesses with the level of support required.
Having managed numerous business support programmes throughout her time at Advance Northumberland, Lucy is experienced in understanding and delivering successful programmes that adhere to the fast pace and ever-changing economic landscape.
Lucy said: “There is a plethora of business support out there and I am delighted to sit on a group with some of the most notable economic growth and funding experts from across the North East. Our focus remains on ensuring that both providers and businesses have the tools and information they need to grow.
The steering group consists often members from various provider organisations across the North East LEP region, including Estelle Blanks, Chief Executive of Innovation SuperNetwork, who is the outgoing chair. The different bodies working directly with businesses use the forum to share information, opportunities, and concerns within the business community. The representation from across the North East allows the group to work collaboratively to evolve the future of support for businesses across the counties.
Already a champion of working and investing in Northumberland, Advance Northumberland is delighted to continue to build relationships with the stakeholders from the surrounding local authorities as well as represent Northumberland businesses at a regional level.
Lucy Evermore added: “I am excited for the opportunity and look forward to building on Estelle’s valuable legacy by continuing to work with business support providers to further enhance business support across the North East.”
Colin Bell, Business Growth Director for the North LEP, said: “As an organisation, the North East LEP is very focused on partnership working and it has been hugely positive to see our relationship with business support providers go from strength to strength over recent years.
“Lucy is a great appointment as Chair and I know she will do a great job as we all strive to create an eco-system of support that works for our business community.”