Gateshead Council – Chief Executive

It’s a place known for ground breaking culture-led regeneration – from the Angel of the North to the Baltic Centre to The Glasshouse – and that reputation is set to be enhanced as major projects come to fruition in Gateshead over the coming years.

Just as those iconic developments revitalised Gateshead’s waterfront back in the nineties and noughties, the latest plans will play a vital role in driving growth and prosperity. They include proposals for a new international conference centre and an arena at The Sage on Gateshead Quays as well as the Riverside Renaissance regeneration plans and projects across the borough.

That’s why Gateshead Council is looking for a new chief executive capable of harnessing the opportunities these developments will bring to ensure local people feel the benefits – as summed up by its corporate plan, Making Gateshead Thrive. After several years of austerity, the importance of regeneration has never been greater, explains Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of the council.

‘We’ve balanced our budgets through substantial cuts to services and by using our reserves. We have to plan for the future by increasing income and reducing demand.

‘We have areas of high deprivation and health inequalities and key to our response is growth in our local economy so we generate employment, reduce demand for local services and focus money on helping people to turn their lives around.’

The next chief executive will inherit a council with a long-held reputation for innovation and delivering high-quality services as well as the foundations for future success.

‘We have an exceptional track record in terms of our ability to deliver and we are viewed as one of the best local authorities in the country. We understand where we are going, we’re strong politically and we’re a stable council with a very clear corporate plan and a robust medium-term financial strategy.’

An ability to build relationships – in particular with neighbouring Newcastle and the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority, due to be fully operational in May – is essential.

‘They will be able to pull together a really strong executive team and understand and build on our wider regional partnerships. It’s that ability to strategically lead, have a clear overview of what we are trying to achieve, ensure everyone in their team delivers and ultimately does a great job for the people of Gateshead.’

Keeping major projects on track is difficult in the current economic climate, says Cllr Gannon, which is why the next chief executive will need a specific set of skills. ‘It’s essential that our new chief executive really understands the importance of regeneration and can bring leadership and experience in that area. They need to add value to the organisation so I want someone who has a track record demonstrating they have delivered in their previous roles.’

He adds: ‘We are very proud of what we have done in the past. Now we have the potential to be a significant leader in local government around regeneration as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of local services.’

Cllr Martin Gannon – Leader, Gateshead Council