Sir John gives backing to business initiative

One of Ashington’s most famous businessmen is backing an initiative to help create more entrepreneurs.

Sir John Hall, the man behind the Metro Centre and former chairman of Newcastle United Football Club, has become an ambassador of Business Northumberland.

The son of a miner, Sir John, 81, was brought up in North Seaton, Ashington, following in his father’s footsteps to work in the mining industry as a surveyor before going into business on his own.

Business Northumberland offers established and start-up businesses in the county free support in reaching their full growth potential.

It is jointly funded by Arch, The Northumberland Development Company, Northumberland County Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Sir John said: “Talking and thinking about being your own boss just isn’t enough you have to do something about it, actions speak louder than words.

“The Business Northumberland initiative is a great idea and hopefully we will see many more successful businesses opening across the county.”

Sir John is currently the chairman of Ashington Town Team, an initiative aiming to bring together businesses, community organisations and other partners to re-establish the town centre as an attractive shopping and leisure destination.

The Business Northumberland campaign has also been backed by Paralympic gold medallist Stephen Miller and other successful business people from the county including Kate Dawson and Eldon Robson, of Fentimans.

Business Northumberland project manager Paul Whitecross said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside someone like Sir John Hall, it will really help drive the campaign forward and encourage others to join up.

“Hopefully, we will give more prospective businesses the chance to setup their own business and in turn help boost the local economy.”

Since launching in April last year, the scheme has successfully helped over 874 businesses receive business support in the form of information packs, free events and business mentors.

In addition to running workshops, Business Northumberland is also able to provide business support and advice through its knowledgeable business support team.

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