The British Business Bank has appointed Dr Sophie Dale-Black as a director to lead the Bank’s UK Network team across the North of England and Midlands.
With the Bank headquartered in Sheffield, the move will add to the Bank’s existing on-the-ground presence working across the regions. Dale-Black’s role will cover the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.
A PhD-qualified scientist by training, Dale-Black’s previous positions include roles at Newcastle University, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Innovate UK, supporting the growth of innovative businesses.
In her new role, Dale-Black will focus on helping enhance the small business finance ecosystem in the North, to support smaller businesses access the finance they need to recover, grow and prosper. The UK Network team’s remit is to also gain a deeper understanding of regional small business finance markets, to help shape the Bank’s support to smaller businesses and inform government policy.
Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director, North of England and Midlands, said: “I have worked closely with the British Business Bank for a number of years and recognise the critical role it is playing in transforming finance markets for smaller businesses across the UK and specifically in the North of England.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, accelerating the recovery of small businesses in the region and unlocking new growth is a priority for the Bank. There’s real pride across the North for the small business community, and I’m excited to be joining the Bank to support the entrepreneurship and innovation that is so ripe in the region.”
Warren Ralls, Managing Director, UK Network, said: “Sophie brings tremendous experience and connections to the smaller business and financial intermediary communities. This is alongside a strong background in science and innovation. These are key priorities for the British Business Bank as we look to help build on the UK’s reputation as a scientific superpower, driving forward innovation and the recovery in the regions.
“We would like to welcome Sophie to the team and look forward to working with her to enable smaller businesses to access the finance best suited to their needs.”