Former Hartlepool MP Iain Wright has succeeded Stan Higgins as Nepic’s new chief executive.
Wright had served as a prominent Labour MP for Hartlepool over the past 13 years and was most recently chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
The 45-year-old was Minister for Housing and Planning between 2007 and 2009 and Minister for Schools and Apprenticeships in 2009-10.
He served as Shadow Minister for Industry between 2011 and 2015 and, prior to being elected as MP for Hartlepool in 2004, he worked at One NorthEast, the regional development agency. He began his career as a chartered accountant with Deloitte.
Together with Ian Swales and Nepic’s board of directors, Wright will focus on representing member firms, championing the region’s process industries and identifying growth opportunities.
“I am really proud and honoured to have been appointed chief executive,” said Wright.
“Under Stan’s excellent leadership, NEPIC is a powerful organisation, representing firms in the North East’s biggest industrial sector and working with them to create jobs and prosperity for our region.
“Stan will be a tough act to follow, but I am determined to work hard with companies to champion this vital sector and our great region.
“Future economic success for the North East will be based upon science, innovation, skills and a nimble and competitive manufacturing base.
“With great co-ordination and collaboration across industry, we can unlock still further the enormous potential of this sector in our region, ensuring that the North East of England can be seen across the world as the place to invest in chemicals, science and pharmaceuticals, and for firms in the region to export their excellent goods and services around the globe.”
Outgoing chief executive Higgins added: “It’s reassuring that such an outstanding candidate has taken over this important leadership role. I believe Iain’s national business and industry experience will help NEPIC’s members and the sector into the future.”
Chairman Swales and the Nepic board have thanked Higgins for his “significant contributions” to the company and chemical-processing sector in North East England.
Formed in 2004, Nepic is a membership cluster organisation working with the chemical-using industries in the North East of England.
Together with member companies, the firm work to build upon the already powerful industrial base located here and make this region one of the most competitive and successful chemical-processing locations in Europe.
Privately-owned and led by industry, Nepic supports cluster members to become successful and sustainable organisations in a collaborative business environment that helps them to grow.