Monday, 31 January 2011

Board members announced for Leeds local enterprise partnership

The Leeds City Region Partnership has announced the members of the new business-led board that will head up the local enterprise partnership (LEP).

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Board said:

“Setting up the board is the first important step towards establishing the new partnership. We’ve had an overwhelming response from businesses keen to get involved and support this initiative.

"I am very impressed with the expertise and qualities of the new board members and we have a great mix of the strong local business sectors to draw on, including manufacturing, services and social enterprise. I am looking forward to turning all this energy and enthusiasm to deliverables.”

Councillor Steve Houghton, chair of the Leeds City Region Leaders Board welcomed the appointments. He said:

“The creation of the business-led city region board signals a new era in public private sector collaboration. Bringing private sector expertise to the table will be crucial in addressing current challenges more effectively and I look forward to working collaboratively to achieve our vision”.

Tom Riordan, chief officer for the Leeds City Region Partnership said:

“Strong democratic legitimacy and energetic business leadership will help ensure that this partnership is successful in attracting investment, creating jobs and benefiting our three million people. We have some challenging times ahead but we are determined to support our economy and I am confident that with this high calibre board we will succeed.”

The private sector members of the LEP Board will be:

Neil McLean, DLA Piper (Chair)
John Parkin, Chief Executive, Leeds Bradford International Airport
Stephen Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer of CPPGroup plc, York
Mark Ridgeway, Managing Director of Group Rhodes, Wakefield
Stephanie Burras, Chief Executive, Leeds Ahead
Gary Jones, Chairman, MSA Engineering Systems Ltd & Heights Group, Halifax
Paul Hamer, Chief Executive Officer, WYG Group, Leeds
Brian Cantor, Vice Chancellor, University of York
Gary Lumby, Director of Small Business Banking, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks

Local authorities will be represented by the leaders of the following councils:

Leeds, Cllr Keith Wakefield
Bradford, Cllr Ian Greenwood
Kirklees, Cllr Mehboob Khan
Wakefield, Cllr Peter Box
Calderdale, Cllr Janet Battye
York, Cllr Andrew Waller
North Yorkshire, Cllr John Weighell
Harrogate, Cllr Mike Gardner

The chair intends to bring together board members as soon as possible to begin discussing the key issues facing the LEP, which will be set up formally from April 2011. An early task will be to agree the business case for negotiation with Government over the powers and responsibilities the LEP will need in order to deliver its aspirations of economic growth through investment, business support and job creation.

In the meantime the Partnership will continue to support businesses by coordinating bids to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).


Notes to editors:
1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.
2. The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership area is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £51billion economy representing 5% of the overall UK economy, over 103,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.
3. Through the LEP businesses and local authorities will work to achieve: sustainable and affordable housing, a better connected transport system, skills and training that reflect the needs of city region employers, creating the environment for businesses to innovate and supporting the move towards low carbon communities.
4. For more information on the Leeds City Region LEP please visit

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Press and Media Manager
Leeds City Council Press Office Tel: 0113 22 43602