The Institute of Directors (IoD) is to merge its Yorkshire and North East regions in a move it says will create “a powerful lobbying voice for the North of England”.
Stretching from Northumberland to South Yorkshire, the enlarged IoD North East region will have one regional committee and six branches that support local business communities.
Jon Geldart, IoD chair in Yorkshire and the Humber, becomes chair of the new IoD North East region while Dr Joanna Berry, former North East chair, becomes vice-chair of the enlarged region.
IoD North East will comprise six branches; four in Yorkshire (East, South, North and West Yorkshire) and two representing the North and South Tyne respectively.
The combined region is already managed by one regional director, Natalie Sykes.
The Yorkshire branches of the IoD are currently home to more than 1,500 members.
Jon Geldart, chair of IoD North East, said: “The IoD exists to inspire business with knowledge, guidance and support.
“We also have a crucial role as an organisation which can ensure that regional business is represented in the corridors of power.
“By creating a single region for Yorkshire and the North East and building on the strength and diversity that exists across this area, we will have a much more powerful voice.”
Dr Joanna Berry, vice-chair of IoD North East, said: “We are passionate about collaboration between businesses. By creating new branches for the North and South of the Tyne we will get even closer to members.
“At the same time, those businesses will have an enlarged network with which to engage and seek fresh opportunities.
“The merger has been received with unanimous positivity by our committee members and we are excited about building on our combined strengths.”
The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906.
It is a non-party political organisation with approximately 35,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas.
Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, professional services to the public and voluntary sectors.
Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
Its current national director general is Stephen Martin, who ran the Clugston Group for 10 years.