BCCI members take up board positions to support WoE growth ambitions
The Initiative has long advocated the need for the West of England to operate as an effective economic region – after all, 94% of people working here, live here too. When Avon County was abolished in 1996 and the area split between four new unitary authorities: Bath and North East Somerset, City of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire we helped establish the West of England Strategic Partnership to encourage co-operation on the big issues facing the region: transport, planning and skills.
When the opportunity to create a Local Enterprise Partnership arose in 2011 for the West of England, we and our members provided firm support to represent business views. Since its formation, the LEP has been good for the region, securing commitments to invest around £230m from the Government’s Growth Deals to bring forward key projects in transport, infrastructure and business support, and has created thousands of new jobs.
On the 3rd June, the West of England LEP Board was refreshed. We would like to thank members Katherine Bennett, Vice President – Public Affairs of Airbus UK and Malachy McReynolds, Chief Executive of WE Care & Repair, who stepped down from the LEP board for all their hard work and commitment and congratulate members Simon Bird, Chief Executive of The Bristol Port Company; Nick Horne, Chief Executive of Knightstone Housing Group; John Pritchard, Chief Executive Officer of GKN Aerospace and Esther McMorris, Chief Executive of Nine Feet Tall on their new appointments. They join Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive at Bristol Airport; Kalpna Woolf, Director at KBM Ltd; Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor at University of the West of England, and our very own James Durie, who have been reappointed as business representatives on the newly formed LEP board. Once again the board will be led by Colin Skellet, Chief Executive at Wessex Water.
We would also like to extend our congratulations to Joe McGeehan from Toshiba Research who will be taking on the role of special advisor on technology and Neil Way, Managing Director of Jeff Way Electrical Services who also have positions on the board.
The business representatives on the board will work alongside the leaders of three of West of England’s local authorities and Bristol’s elected mayor to attract investment, support infrastructure development, and put conditions in place to enable businesses to move to the area and expand.
“These appointments demonstrate the level of ambition and vision for the future of the West of England as the home of knowledge, innovation and quality of life,” said LEP chairman Colin Skellett.
“The business representatives lead successful organisations, who work across all parts of the West of England in sectors that are vitally important components of our plans for sustainable economic growth.
“Their experience in aerospace, logistics, housing, infrastructure and small and medium enterprise gives businesses in the West of England real and powerful influence in the future direction of our economy. I welcome their representation on the board and look forward to working with them on the next phase of our plans for growth.”