Local Enterprise Partnership to recruit Chair

PRESS RELEASE

03/10/13

Local Enterprise Partnership to recruit Chair

The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is recruiting a Chair to drive business growth and shape the economy of Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay.

After a review of structure and operations, the partnership has decided that the role of Chair should be a recruited post, given the substantial demands placed upon the function.

Vice Chair, Frances Brennan said: “We have spent considerable time looking at different models of operations as each LEP is set up slightly differently – and there are 39 of us. A recent survey of the partnerships showed that many had paid chairs, because of the sheer amount of time expected of the postholder.

“Given our changing emphasis, when we reviewed our operations, we decided that there was merit in changing from an elected to a recruited role. Our priorities are a high calibre candidate from a business background, with a thorough understanding of the local economy and the ability to forge strong relationships between the private and the public sector.

“I am pleased that Tim Jones, who began work as the Chair when the LEP was established just over two years ago will continue in the role until the recruitment is concluded and remain a valued member of the Board thereafter. He has been instrumental in shaping it into a functioning, powerful Partnership which has seen a number of successes and overcome many challenges too.”

She continued: “So much has been achieved already, including attracting more than £100 million of Government funding to kick start the area’s economy – Tim has created a strong foundation and his commitment has been unwavering. He took on the challenge with gusto and has brought vitality and dynamism to the role. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim for the huge amount of work he has done for the LEP and for the Heart of the South West area as a whole.”

Chair, Tim Jones said: "The LEPs have come on a long journey from quite uncertain beginnings. When we started out, there was virtually nothing, and no-one, so getting business on board was absolutely critical to our mission. As the partnership has grown, the remit expanded and Government policy evolved, it is clear that a more permanent executive arrangement is required, and this will bring in fresh and new ideas into our thinking. However, it is also crucial that we retain the voice of business and I am looking forward to having more time to champion the needs of our businesses across our area through my continued role on the Board. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable, if challenging experience at points, but one I've relished. I am looking forward to working with our new Chair when the time comes."

For more information about the work of the Heart of the South West LEP and to find out more about the role, visit www.heartofswlep.co.uk

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For more information, contact Emma Parker or Liz Waugh at Coast Communications on 07944 360631 / 07966 388921 / main office 01752 847135.

Heart of the South West

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been formed under the leadership of the private sector supported by the local authorities from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay and the area’s District Councils.  It is one of 39 partnerships created since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper published in October 2010.  More information about the work of the LEP is available from the website www.heartofswlep.co.uk.

About Us

The Heart of the South West is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are new strategic partnership organisations formed under the leadership of the private sector and supported by the local authorities to create a powerful economic alliance. The Heart of the South West has already attracted more than £100 million of Government funding to kick start the areas' economy, to create new jobs, boost productivity and to improve earnings.

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