North East Growth Hub


Peer Networks programme opens its doors to more applications

A business networking programme which aims to help companies recover from the impact of COVID-19 is set to expand its reach.

The Peer Networks programme, which connects North East business leaders with others operating in their sector, is opening its doors for more applications this spring.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Our first cohorts of businesses began the Peer Networks programme last year, and helped each other overcome a range of issues that many were facing as a result of the pandemic, including HR and staffing, sales and marketing, and digitalisation.

“Now we’re opening the doors for more businesses to join and we’re particularly interesting in hearing from female leaders, new businesses which have only been operating for three years or less, and businesses operating in hospitality or other sectors that were hardest hit by COVID-19.”

Previous Peer Networks have focused on businesses including social enterprises and engineering.

James King is Managing Director of Addictions UK, a social enterprise which joined forces with others through a Peer Network in 2020. “There’s no doubt I’d recommend it,” said James. “My network has expanded and I’ve been able to identify new projects and partnerships with like-minded organisations. There’s a richness of experience and talent within our group and I’ve also been able to pass on knowledge and help others.”

As well as regular workshops with other businesses, the programme includes access to a personal coach who can advise businesses on topics ranging from marketing to HR.

“The crème de la crème of the programme was the sessions with a personal coach which have been a revelation,” said James. “It’s been extremely valuable and has underlined how important it is for senior managers to receive this kind of support, as well as their staff. I got an enormous buzz out of it and it’s been a significant area of personal growth.”

Businesses which have a minimum of five employees can apply to join a North East Peer Network through the North East Growth Hub, at (search for Peer Networks), or by emailing

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by North East Growth Hub .

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