Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Charity Chief Andy's in Frame for Mayoral Role

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Charity Chief Andy's in Frame for Mayoral Role

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter

LOCAL businessman and charity leader Andy Preston is to run for mayor of Middlesbrough, if the public vote to retain the post in the forthcoming referendum.

Mr Preston operates a number of business activities from his Middlesbrough offices and spends much of his time running the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

He set up the charity two years ago to create local apprenticeships and assist the disadvantaged across Teesside. With the support of numerous local businesses and individuals, the Foundation has since raised nearly PS500,000 for Teesside community causes.

Mr Preston said: "I am passionate about Middlesbrough and its people and I believe the person who leads the town should be directly elected by local people and accountable to them."

Mr Preston says he moved back to the region because he wanted to do some good.

"I have never forgotten my roots and have always believed that Middlesbrough could do so much better than it does," he said.

"Middlesbrough has an incredible university with genuinely world class elements, a ground-breaking college of further education that produces staggering results against a difficult demographic, and, above all, people who, despite some often very trying circumstances, have genuine confidence, optimism and determination about the future. If we can bring all those things together, this town can have a great future."

The 47-year-old, who is married with two young children, was born and raised in Middlesbrough.

After leaving school he joined the Royal Air Force. He then studied at Edinburgh University and later trained as a city trader, leading to a highly successful 15-year career managing multi-billion pound international businesses. Mr Preston added: "I have strong views on the way forward for the town, economically, socially and politically. …

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