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New Year Honour for North East Business Leader


North East England Chamber of Commerce chief executive, James Ramsbotham has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours’ list.

Widely known for his passion and positivity he has dedicated himself to promoting the North East locally, nationally and internationally. At the head of the Chamber for the last 12 years, he has transformed its position in the region’s business community through initiatives such as the creation of the President’s Club, a network of major employers including Nissan, CYBG (formerly Virgin Money) and Greggs.

James Ramsbotham, Chamber chief executive said: “This Honour is really for the whole team at the Chamber who do so much for North East businesses each and every day. I am over-the-moon that our work has been recognised in this way and I feel very honoured and humbled.”

Under his leadership the Chamber has successfully campaigned for investment on a whole range of important issues including the improvements to the region’s transport network and promotion of our global connectivity from our ports and airports. It is also seen by regional, national and international media as the leading North East business voice urging the Government to give clarity on the Brexit arrangements.

Alan Ferguson, head of Ferguson Transport and former Chamber President and Chairman said: “12 years ago I was part of a team that interviewed a very impressive candidate for the role of chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce. That person was James Ramsbotham. Since taking on this role he has been a great ambassador for the North East, working tirelessly for the entire business community in the region. James has great wisdom, is very diplomatic, and networks well at all levels. He has the enviable skill of always knowing what to say and when to say it! This honour bestowed upon James is very well deserved indeed.”

Before joining the Chamber, James Ramsbotham had a military career which included tours of duty in Borneo, Belize, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. He also had substantial director-level experience with Barclays Bank and was vice-chairman of County Durham-based Esh Group.

He holds a number of senior regional voluntary appointments such as chair of Changing Lives, chair the Durham Light Infantry Museum & Charities, Honorary Colonel for 8th Bn The Rifles, and he is a Deputy Lieutenant for Co Durham.