Helen Golightly OBE

Chair
Helen Golightly OBE

Helen has been with the North East LEP since 2012, and the Chief Executive since 2015. As the senior executive at the LEP, Helen leads the delivery of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, working with partners to grow the local economy by securing investment in the region and improving skills and business support for residents and businesses.

Under Helen’s leadership, partner engagement with the North East LEP and the region’s Strategic Economic Plan has helped deliver over 76,000 jobs over the period 2014 – 2019 and the employment gap between the North East and England (excluding London) has reduced by 26%.

Helen has been instrumental in securing over £2billion investment for the region, resulting in the delivery of over 200 projects securing 20,000 more jobs for the region.

Helen has also been the Chief Executive of the North East Combined Authority (NECA), where she cemented public private relationships to drive forward economic plans together.

Her previous experience includes over twenty years in a number of local government roles in planning, regeneration, economic development and corporate governance. She has extensive programme and fund management experience with responsibility of delivering a wide range of programmes and commercial negotiations.

Helen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to businesses and the regional economy.