The Institute of Directors (IoD) is to create an Ambassador network of business leaders to raise the profile of the North East.

The move is part of a restructure of the IoD’s regional committee under new chair Dr Joanna Berry, associate professor in entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School, who took over the role this month.

The first Ambassador to come on board is Lucy Batley, owner and director of Newcastle-based design and digital agency Jump, who becomes Ambassador for Creative and Digital.

Each Ambassador will represent and promote the IoD in their industry sector. The move aims to grow the profile of North East business and ensure it is represented within the IoD’s influential, national policy voice.

Batley has more than 20 years’ experience as a graphic designer and specialist in brand communications. Having graduated in Newcastle, she moved to London to work for publisher Emap and spent five years in Milan, working on branding design for clients including Audi, Fila, Vespa, Max Mara and Montecristo.

Since establishing Jump in 2007, Lucy has directed and led design and marketing campaigns for organisations including the National Trust, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NE1, the Business Improvement District company.

She said: “I’m looking forward to representing the creative and digital sectors of the North East. There is some fantastic work being done here. I want to use this opportunity to harness the strength, diversity and energy of local businesses and bring together the talented people who run them.”

Dr Berry succeeded Graham Robb of Recognition PR as IoD regional chair following the completion of his three-year term as chairman. Her priorities include driving entrepreneurship and innovation in North East business, encouraging young directors and supporting women into the boardroom.

Dr Berry said: “I’d like to welcome Lucy on board as our first Ambassador for the North East region. Her experience will be invaluable as we look to grow our membership and shape the future of the IoD in the region. The premise of the Ambassador network is that we will become stronger as a region by collaborating. We will announce further appointments very soon.”