Leading the forum is a business-led management group. 

It’s made up of a cross-section of the business community and provides advice and guidance on particular areas of expertise, and provide a link to a wider network of business groups and associations.

Chair | David W Bavaird

Chair | David W Bavaird

Engaging Pathways

David Bavaird, a director of North Shields-based Engaging Pathways, has worked in finance, logistics and project management for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience to the role. He is also the former-chair of North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce,and sits on a number of boards of education and third sector organisations.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • North Tyneside Strategic Partnership
  • Town Centre Task Group
  • Coastal Communities Team
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority (various working groups)
  • North Tyneside Learning Trust
  • Armed Forces Group
  • Employment Pathway Working Group
  • SEND Employment Pathway
  • North East England Chamber of Commerce
  • Sector Connector

David also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Vice Chair | Karen Goldfinch

Vice Chair | Karen Goldfinch

Made to Treasure

Karen has worked in retail for over 30 years and has experience of both large chain stores and independent high street stores. Opening her own retail business ‘Made to Treasure’ in 2002, she has now diversified into the service industry and continues to grow her company, specialising in Wedding & Events – both social and corporate events. Karen is the former Chair of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, and an administrator on several local social media groups, both community & business focused groups, including the North Tyneside Business Forum.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • Savvy Solos Business Club (North Tyneside)
  • Do Digital
  • Inspire Network
  • Women in Business

Karen also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Paul Hull

Paul Hull

For the Love of the North

For the Love of the North, gift shop specialising in all things North East and based in Whitley Bay were nominated by an advisor at The Business Factory as a business which turned “adversity into opportunity” when taking redundancy. They showed how as one door opens another closes.

Paul Hull, joint owner at For the Love of the North said: “We are delighted to have been nominated to be a member of the Forum management group. My wife Lucy and I both know the importance of hitting on the right offer and know who our customers are and how to reach them. To be able to help with the strategic direction of the Forum and influence the decisions based on how a start-up business operates and would like support with, is a real opportunity to help start-up businesses in North Tyneside.’’

Manufacturing Lead | Andrew Esson

Manufacturing Lead | Andrew Esson

Esson Partnership

Andrew is a leading North East industrialist who has achieved regional and national recognition for his leadership of North East manufacturing businesses. Now operating in an advisory and non-executive capacity, Andrew is also a Scale up Partner within the Scale up North East Programme. Andrew is currently Chair of the EEF NE Regional Advisory Board. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • Scale up North East
  • Made UK Regional Advisory Board
  • Made UK National Membership Board
  • Newcastle College – Employer Engagement, higher and degree technical qualifications
Mike Peeke-Vout

Mike Peeke-Vout

Wubbleyou Limited

Mike Peeke-Vout, Director at North Shields-based Wubbleyou Limited said: “Myself and my business partner Mark Renney have been regulars at Business Forum events since our inception in 2010 and we’re very pleased to join the group. When we saw the vacancy posts on social media we had to submit our expression of interest. Working with like-minded businesses in the area is something we are passionate about and being able to bring a new range of skills to the organisation is great.”

Treasurer | David Hodgson

Treasurer | David Hodgson

Read Milburn & Co

David is both a chartered accountant and chartered banker with over 40 years experience advising and representing a wide variety of North Tyneside businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Over the past two decades David has been involved in numerous local voluntary, community and educational organisations including YMCA North Tyneside, Cullercoats National Lifeboat Institution and New Hope for Children.

David also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Pat Davidson

Pat Davidson

Rotational Engineering

Pat is a woman who has worked in the manufacturing industry for over 25 years, in North Tyneside, Rotational Engineering employs local people in specialist tool making and sheet metal fabrications.

Pat says “During times of economic uncertainty I feel that it is essential to maintain a very good level of communication with the business community. By being part of the Business Forum this helps us keep up to date with the ever changing business trends, having like-minded individuals to meet with and discuss not only our personal barriers but those wider afield is fantastic. We feel we are able to take advice from those who have the experience and connections to put us in touch with the relevant individuals/events that will not only benefit the business but hopefully the local community.”

Martin Heddon

Martin Heddon

RWO Assosciates

Martin is a chartered engineer with over 18 years experience working in the public and private sectors, for both small and large businesses. Martin leads the Structures team at RWO which serves residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Martin has been actively involved with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) both regionally and nationally for a number of years and is passionate about inspiring the next generation.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
Toby Bridges

Toby Bridges

NBT Group

Toby Bridges is an experienced company director and has been CEO of NBT Group Ltd, since 2008. Toby mentors numerous businesses across the NE, on behalf of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and Entrepreneurial Spark. He has also recently been invited on to the Scale-up Advisory Board, an organisation backed by the NE LEP to support Scale Up companies across its region.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • Entrepreneurs Forum
  • Advisory Board – Scale up North East
  • North East LEP Business Growth Board

Toby also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Craig Firth

Craig Firth

GasTech Ltd

Craig Firth, Director at GasTech Ltd said: “To be able to share our experiences in business and influence the strategic direction of the Forum is an honour. To win the Business of the Year 2018 award was over whelming and we hope to be able to bring knowledge of business growth, the industry and training new and existing staff to the group.”

Lee Patterson

Lee Patterson

Queen Alexandra Sixth Form (TyneMet)

Info to follow…

Kevin Stephenson

Kevin Stephenson

Experts in Business Ltd

Kevin is Chair of Wallsend Chamber, Non-Executive Director for Northumberland Cricket Board and CEO of Experts in Business. Experts in Business has a focus on adding value to your talent by recruiting the right people for your business and providing training to increase your sales. He has been a Director and board member for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has created and delivered sustainable improvements in profitability to businesses in different verticals.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM) – Advisory Council
  • Howdon and Wallsend Partnership Board
  • North East England Chamber of Commerce
Miles Walton

Miles Walton

Walton Bourke Properties

Miles is Chair of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce. After practising as a corporate tax lawyer in London for 30 years, Miles returned to the North East, and he & his wife now rent out commercial and residential properties in the UK, France and Ireland.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • North Shields Chamber of Trade & Commerce
  • North East England Chamber of Commerce

Miles also represents North Tyneside businesses at local authority Cabinet meetings.

Business Forum Officer | Amy Farrell

Business Forum Officer | Amy Farrell

North Tyneside Council

Amy started her role at North Tyneside Council as a Social Media Marketing Apprentice in Sept 2014. Amy has been involved in many projects including The Business Factory and Invest North Tyneside. After securing a position following the completion of her apprenticeship, Amy is now responsible for delivering North Tyneside Business Forum activity programme and marketing. Over the 2 years in the role, she has successfully delivered Business Awards ceremonies, numerous events for the Forum and has implemented a range of projects.

Wider Business Groups: 

  • North East England Chamber of Commerce
  • Vice-Chair NE Growth Hub Provider Network Steering Group
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