Independent accountants MHA Tait Walker have demonstrated their commitment to the region’s pandemic-hit firms with a cash donation to Open North Foundation.

An award-winning accountancy practice founded in 1937, MHA Tait Walker has 165 team members, with offices in Durham, Newcastle, Teesside, Northumberland, Carlisle and Leeds.

Paul Shields, partner, heads up the Durham office and is also one of the founding members and a director of Open North Foundation, which was formed in summer 2020 as a not-for-profit, private sector response to Covid-19.

Thanks to the generosity of individuals and a vast, diverse range of companies and organisations, Open North Foundation administers grant aid and in-kind support such as marketing and accountancy to small to medium sized businesses in the region who, but for the pandemic, would be financially viable and offering high quality jobs.

Paul Shields said: “This past year has challenged North East businesses like never before and that’s why my role in Open North Foundation is so important to me.

“We wanted to offer our support as a firm, as we are very aware from talking to our clients, how the pandemic can impact businesses at short notice.”

Richard Swart, chair of Open North Foundation, said: “When we finally get through the pandemic, the business community will not forget those who stepped forward to provide assistance and support.

“While we are now administering grants and in-kind support to a wide range of small to medium sized businesses, there are a very high number of companies that need assistance.

“We can’t help them all but as donations continue to come in we can have an impact and play a part in the revival of the region.

“I would therefore urge like-minded individuals and organisations who feel they can help, to get in touch and get involved.”

Find out more about Open North Foundation at


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