North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has appointed two new directors to lead on delivery and development.

Dr Henry Kippin, currently Executive Director of Public Service at West Midlands Combined Authority, (WMCA) has accepted the role of Director of Economic Growth for NTCA and Ruth Redfern, currently Managing Director of RDZT, will take up the position of Director of Policy and Performance. Both will start on 2 December 2019.

Dr Henry Kippin and Ruth Redfern

      Dr Henry Kippin and Ruth Redfern

In his new position Henry will ensure programmes have pace and impact. He will be leading a team who are developing and delivering economic programmes and projects. These include a wide range of projects to improve the area’s economic growth and ensure people can benefit from that growth – early examples are projects to improving internet connectivity across the area, attracting new businesses to locate to the area, investing in adult education service and helping people who have been caring for relatives back into the labour market.  In the role he will also be working with the universities and research institutes to help businesses develop new projects and services. At WMCA Henry is responsible for its work on inclusive growth, public services, climate change and digital.

About his new role he said: “I am delighted to be joining North of Tyne Combined Authority at a critical time in its development. Now is the time to show how devolution can help shape a different model of inclusive economic growth. I am looking forward to working with the Mayor, Cabinet and partners across the region to make sure we are making a real difference to our citizens, businesses and public services.”

In her new role Ruth will lead the combined authority’s policy function directing the development of policies that have a clear impact. This will include working with government to win further devolution of powers and funds. Until recently, Ruth was leading an innovative community engagement approach in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Formerly, the Director of Inclusive Growth for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Ruth worked with six local authorities to lead a collaborative, sub regional programme of inclusive growth.

Ruth said: “Our purpose is to deliver the government’s deal and achieve more prosperity, greater equity and reduce poverty for everyone in North of Tyne. I am excited about joining the team and I’m looking forward to working with the Mayor, his Cabinet and all the partners in this vibrant part of the country.”

Interim Head of Paid Service for NTCA, Pat Ritchie, said: “I am pleased to welcome two senior staff of Henry and Ruth’s calibre to take forward the work of the North of Tyne Combined Authority. We have made much progress in establishing the authority and both will bring valuable experience to North of Tyne. I am looking forward to working closely with them both to achieve the bold ambitions set out in our devolution deal.”

Mayor of North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll said: “It’s exciting times for NTCA.  We’ve got a big job building a green, prosperous economy in the North of Tyne.  Henry and Ruth have real depth of knowledge and experience.  But it’s their commitment to our values that most impressed me – they get the need to make sure everyone shares in our prosperity. I’m really looking forward to working with them.”

The NTCA is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, set up in November 2018 when the area secured a £600m devolution deal. In May 2019, Jamie Driscoll was elected as the first ever Mayor of North of Tyne. The combined authority has ambitious plans to create 10,000 jobs over the term of the deal, adding over £1bn in goods and services levering over £2bn of private sector investment.