Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 22.08.27Senior officers from the armed forces of a number of countries have met with North East business leaders as part of a tour of the UK’s regions.

At an event hosted by Darlington Building Society (DBS) at its head office at Sentinel House in Darlington, military officers from around the globe and all three British armed services met representatives of North East business. These business leaders included DBS chief executive Colin Fyfe, Entrepreneurs’ Forum Chairman Nigel Mills, and Institute of Directors Regional Chairman Graham Robb.

The event was organised as part of a course at Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), which is run to prepare senior officers and officials of the UK and other countries, and future leaders from private and public sectors, for high office in their respective organisations, by developing their analytical powers, knowledge of defence and international security, and strategic vision.

The business leaders gave presentations on their areas of expertise, which were followed by a round-table discussion on such topics as the region’s economy, governance, education and media. Upon their return to the RCDS the visitors will draw on their experiences in the North East and other regions in the conclusion of their UK module.

Colin Fyfe said: “This was a great opportunity to display what the people and businesses of the North East have to offer the world, and to share our best practices with leaders from a completely different field. I was particularly proud to point out the work DBS does to support good causes in our community and the great effect this has on the motivation of our workforce.”

Colonel David Norris OBE, a member of the Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies, said: “This part of the course is designed to enable those taking it to examine, at first hand and from a strategic perspective, the prospects for the stability, security and prosperity of the UK, as they see it in the places they visit.

“60% of the people who take this course are from overseas, many of whom will move on to very senior positions in their governments, so this opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and explore the working of UK businesses really brings their studies to life.”