Sarah Slaven is taking on the role of interim managing director at Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, following the departure of Brian Archer.

Sarah was part of the management team that established Business Durham in 2012 and held the post of operations director until taking on her current position as interim MD in January.

She will hold the position while recruitment for a replacement managing director takes place.

In her previous role, Sarah – who’s also a board member of Aycliffe Business Park Community – had responsibility for leading Business Durham’s business engagement, inward investment and enterprise activities.

As operations director, she led the implementation of the £20m Finance Durham Fund with Maven Capital Partners, which has made 14 investments totalling £4.3m into 10 dynamic businesses across County Durham.

Sarah was responsible for securing over £10m ERDF funding for projects to support businesses in the county, such as the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP), Digital Drive County Durham and the County Durham Growth Fund.

Sarah was also instrumental in setting up the Durham City Incubator based at Salvus House, a collaboration between Business Durham, Durham University and New College Durham to retain graduate talent and support graduate enterprise in Durham.

Sarah is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development, and holds a BA (hons) in Law and Economics, and an MBA from Durham University.

“I’m proud to be given the opportunity to lead and build on the great work that Business Durham is already doing to support business growth, create jobs and attract inward investment to Durham,” said Sarah, who’s also currently a director of County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), as well as serving on the board of the County Durham Economic Partnership and Innovate North East.

“Business Durham is a trusted advisor to hundreds of business owners across the county and we will continue to provide expert knowledge, in-depth advice, and ongoing support for every stage of business growth.

“I’m passionate about the fantastic assets and businesses we have here and I look forward to the opportunities that 2020 will bring.”



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