A LEADING business figure who champions apprenticeships and training for the engineering sectors has been appointed to a group which spearheads East Durham’s business growth.

Andy Buckworth, who is centre manager at TTE in Peterlee, which specialises in fabrication, welding and business improvement techniques, has joined the Peterlee and Seaham business park groups’ steering committee.

The committee is made up of East Durham business representatives who share a common desire to support the area’s continued development and prosperity.

Andy was tempted back to TTE at the start of 2019 to head up the East Durham facility, which is the former Infinite Learning and Development centre that was acquired by Teesside-based TTE last year.

In his time with the organisation, Andy has worked hard to establish stronger links between industry and education and is hugely passionate about attracting young talent into TTE, who can be trained and educated to cater for the needs of engineering and manufacturing employers in the area.

Andy said: “I am delighted to be asked to join the Peterlee and Seaham business steering committee and hopefully do my bit to support our area’s continued growth.

“There are so many fantastic things happening across East Durham, but there is still so much more that can be done to support business growth, including bringing industry and education together. That is something I am hugely passionate about.

“In my time at TTE I have been very impressed with the drive and determination of businesses in the area to celebrate their success and shout about everything that’s fantastic about East Durham’s thriving business community, which perhaps people don’t fully appreciate until they come here.

“Hopefully my involvement in the group will enhance that.”

Andy joins co-chairmen of the committee Paul Wellstead, developer of Spectrum Business Park, and Kareen James-Rawson from Novares, alongside representatives from Seaham companies Great Annual Savings Group, Aspen Wolf and Moralbox, and Peterlee businesses Steadfast Group and LEC Communications and Design.

Kareen James-Rawson said: “Andy is a fantastic guy who has made real efforts to embed himself within the community and understand the opportunities and challenges which are present here.

“With his background in engineering and training, and his passion for nurturing young talent to support business growth, we know Andy will be a fantastic addition to the steering group and support our efforts to encourage the continued growth and success of our business communities.”

The Peterlee Business Park Group was launched five years ago while the Seaham group came about in 2016 because of the demand from businesses in the area to have their own support group that could tackle issues affecting them, and offer advice in areas that help them grow, including access to finance, communications, transport and contract opportunities.

While maintaining their own identities, the groups work in partnership and support businesses across East Durham.

To find out more, visit peterleebusiness.co.uk or seahambusiness.co.uk.