John Craggs appointed as Chairman of the North East England Chamber of Commerce Sunderland area

The Group's Chief Executive Officer, John Craggs, has been appointed Chairman of the North East England Chamber of Commerce for the Sunderland area.

John has more than 35 years’ experience of working in the housing sector and is one of the industry’s most respected figures.

The Chamber Sunderland area meeting is regularly attended by leading figures in the business community who share views on the Wearside economy, their own business trading conditions and future challenges. They also get an update on Chamber campaigns on key regional issues such as transport investment.

John Craggs, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo, said: “It is a great honour to chair the Chamber Sunderland area. This is a tremendously exciting time for our city with at least £1.3bn of public and private investment to be made in Sunderland over the next nine years, supporting economic growth and delivering in excess of 20,000 new jobs. Alongside this, there are big opportunities on the horizon like the Tall Ships and the next round of the Capital of Culture bid. The Chamber is a keen supporter of this cultural development work and Wearside’s ambitious plans for the future."

He added: “Our local businesses can benefit from working more closely together on projects such as these. As Chairman, I will be encouraging more of our members to get involved to showcase what a great place Wearside is to live, work and spend their leisure time.”

Jonathan Walker, Chamber Head of Policy and Campaigns said: “We are delighted to have someone with John’s in-depth knowledge of Sunderland’s business community as our chairman. The Chamber campaigns tirelessly to improve business conditions in our region and John will play a vital role in ensuring that Sunderland businesses have genuine influence”.

At the last meeting held at the Sunderland Marriott Hotel, the Sunderland Chamber members had an update about the Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) action plan and business opportunities with the Tall Ships 2018. They were encouraged to explore procurement opportunities offered by Sunderland Council, which is keen to have closer links with businesses.