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Gill Courtney and BBC Look North

Director of Wessington Cryogenics, Gill Courtney and the Open North Foundation interviewed on 

BBC Look North 29th July 2020

North East business community set to pledge Covid-19 financial support to fellow business owners.

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A fast growing cohort of North East businesses, lead organisations and personalities, aim to raise hundreds of thousands to support companies looking to recover from Covid-19.

The newly launched, not-for-profit company, Open North Foundation, is calling upon businesses and individuals throughout the region to pledge financial support as part of a private sector-led initiative to rebuild the regional economy. Businesses receiving financial support will be considered to deliver long term positive economic impact and create high quality jobs. In most cases, grants will range from £1,000 to £5,000 but this will be reviewed in due course, subject to funding.

While the immediate aim is to provide financial support, there is also a longer term goal to provide financial assistance, technical support, business advice and consultancy to enterprises and individuals adversely affected by the pandemic.

Founder and chair of Open North Foundation, is Richard Swart, global sales director, Berger Group Europe and vice chair is Colin Hewitt, partner, Ward Hadaway Solicitors. Directors are Teesside entrepreneur, Claire Preston, area business manager for Barclays, David Foreman, director of Wessington Cryogenics, Gill Courtney, director, Stephenson-Mohl Group, Mark Stephenson and MHA Tait Walker, director, Paul Shields.

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