Andy, whose official title will be group editor at Newsquest (North-East), had been serving as joint acting editor since Peter left after 17 years at the helm.
His fellow joint acting editor Nigel Burton, head of content & assistant editor at the Echo, has been promoted to the role of deputy group editor & head of content with immediate effect.
The pair will also oversee the Darlington & Stockton Times and the Advertiser Series in County Durham.
Andy joined Newsquest as a sports journalist in Darlington, where the Echo is based, in 2007, and became deputy business editor in 2010.
He moved up to business editor two years later and added assistant editor to his portfolio in 2014.
Andy, an English and history graduate of Durham University, had initially had previously spent 10 years in PR – having begun his career with Northern Electric PLC and later moving to rail operator GNER, where he served as head of its marketing and PR operations.
In 2006, he decided to change career and funded his own journalism training before working as a freelance sports journalist on local and national titles.
Nigel, left, began his career with the Echo as a reporter in 1990.
He served as news editor for 2000 until taking up the head of content & assistant editor role in 2006.
David Coates, Newsquest North managing director, said: “We’re really pleased that we could fill these two senior appointments with internal candidates.
“We saw some really good people, from inside and outside Newsquest, but it was clear that Andy and Nigel were the correct choice.
“They impressed us during their brief spell acting-up as group editor in Darlington and I’m entirely confident that the Northern Echo and its associated brands are in very safe hands.”