LEP welcomes new members to create its most diverse Board ever

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership names five new members to Board

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) has welcomed five new members to its Board. 

The new Board members come from a variety of backgrounds in the private sector, including the arts, social enterprise, academia and management consulting. Together they represent over 120 years of business experience.   

The new appointments, which were approved at the LEP Board at its meeting in Leeds yesterday (Tuesday 25 February) mean the LEP Board is more diverse and representative than ever before. With a total of 18 members, 13 members of the Board are from the private sector and five from the public sector, with equal numbers of men and women.  

Welcoming the new members, Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the LEP and the NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships, said: “The new members of the Board bring a wealth of experience to the LEP, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives that will be invaluable in supporting our work across Leeds City Region.  

“The role of the LEP in ensuring inclusive economic prosperity has never been so important, as we work to unlock the potential of the City Region and continue to invest the £1 billion Growth Fund agreed with Government in 2015There are exciting times ahead, particularly with the Local Industrial Strategy, which promises a step-change for the City Region’s economy, and the continuing discussions around a devolution deal for the City Region. 

Two members of the Board stood down at the meeting, Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL and Professor Adam Beaumont, while Nicola Greenan left the Board in the New Year 

Roger Marsh OBE DL added: “I would like to thank the departing Board members for all their hard work and dedication. Their efforts and commitment to the LEPs agenda have had a real and tangible benefit for the LEP, the City Region and everyone who lives and works here.” 

The new members are: 

  • Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor and CEO, University of Bradford  
  • Helen Featherstone, Deputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park 
  • Simon Pringle, Managing Director, Project Rome  
  • Kamran Rashid, Chief Executive Officer, 30 Chapel Street Ltd  
  • Kully Thiarai, Creative Director and CEO, Leeds 2023 

Rashik Parmar MBE, Andrew Wright, Joanna Robinson, and Mark Roberts were reappointed as Board members. Mark Roberts was named Deputy Chair, supporting Roger Marsh OBE DL as Chair. 

Mark Roberts, Deputy Chair of the LEP Board and Co-founder of Beer Hawk, said: “I’m delighted to become Deputy Chair of the LEP Board. This is such an important moment in time for our City Region and I’m extremely excited about the upcoming programmes that will help to unlock our full potential. 

“It’s vital that the LEP Board brings together people from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise to ensure we can really deliver a much strengthened regional economy that works for the people who live, study and work here.” 

Kate Hainsworth has been named as the LEPs Diversity Champion, taking on the role left vacant following the departure in January of Nicola Greenan from the Board, while Joanna Robinson continues in her role as SME representative.  

Commenting on her appointment as Diversity Champion, Kate Hainsworth, CEO of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “The LEP is committed to achieving diversity and equality of opportunity in everything we do. As Diversity Champion for the LEP board, I look forward to working alongside my fellow board members to ensure that we promote opportunity for, by and with the City Region’s diverse people, culture and heritage.” 

As well as members representing the districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, the Chair has invited representatives of Craven, Harrogate, Selby and York to continue to attend Board meetings as observers in line with the LEPs commitment to allow discussion, debate and decisions to be taken with the benefit of a regional understanding.  

The full membership of the Board is as follows:  

  • Roger Marsh OBE DL
  • Mark Roberts  
  • Rashik Parmar MBE 
  • Joanna Robinson 
  • Andrew Wright 
  • Amir Hussein 
  • Kate Hainsworth 
  • Mandy Ridyard 
  • Prof Shirley Congdon 
  • Kully Thiarai 
  • Kamran Rashid 
  • Helen Featherstone 
  • Simon Pringle 
  • Cllr Judith Blake CBE 
  • Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe 
  • Cllr Denise Jeffrey 
  • Cllr Shabir Pandor 
  • Cllr Tim Swift MBE 
  • Cllr Keith Aspden (Leader of York – observer) 
  • Cllr Richard Cooper (Leader of Harrogate – observer. Represents interests of Selby and Craven)