North East housing association Bernicia has appointed Janette Longstaff into the key new role of Executive Director of Finance as the company begins to deliver its £190m investment programme and transform service delivery.

Janette will bring her wealth of experience, most recently as Bernicia’s Finance Director, to the role which incorporates responsibility for finance, audit and risk and ICT infrastructure, having previously worked across the social housing, manufacturing, service and commercial sectors.

“The role of Executive Director of Finance will be pivotal for Bernicia given the ambitious agenda we have set ourselves.” said John Johnston, Bernicia’s chief executive.

“Janette’s drive, skills and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to develop and grow our business.

“Working with the Board, I’ve taken the opportunity to review Bernicia’s corporate strategy, which will see us increase the number of new homes provided, continue to modernise and improve services and how these are delivered, and grow our business for the benefit of the communities we operate in.”

Janette said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity that John and the Board have given me.

“I feel passionately about our ambitious plans to deliver quality, affordable homes to make a real difference to the quality of life for local people, while meeting the political, economic and social challenges we face.

“I’ll be ensuring that we continue to move forward from a financially strong and viable base, maximising our resources and investing wisely and meeting our social objectives.”

Janette will take up her new post in the New Year when Mike Axe, Bernicia’s executive director of resources, retires from his role.

Bernicia plans to invest £190m into new homes, existing properties and communities over the next five years. The investment package will deliver at least 500 new homes by 2023 – and significantly exceed this number if opportunities arise – to help tackle the demand for affordable, high quality social housing in the North East.