LEP trio recognised in Queen�s Birthday Honours


Three current and former LEP Board members have been made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced on 14 June.

Stephanie Burras, Prof. Bob Cryan and former LEP Board Chair, Neil McLean, have been recognised for their services to Business in Yorkshire, Higher Education, and Business and Skills in West Yorkshire respectively.

LEP Board Chair, Roger Marsh, commented: “I’m delighted to offer my very warmest congratulations to two of our panel chairs, Stephanie and Bob, and to Neil, the former LEP Board Chair, for these outstanding and extremely well-deserved honours. Not only has each of them achieved a tremendous amount in business, they’re also channelling their immense passion and expertise into supporting the region’s economy and, in particular, giving young people the very best start in life. I am very grateful to them, as I am to all of our Board members, for the time and energy they give us – the LEP’s work, and indeed the region, is undoubtedly stronger thanks to their involvement.”

Lawyer-turned-social-entrepreneur, Stephanie Burras, is the Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that builds partnerships across the public, private and third sectors to unlock social and economic potential. Stephanie is also Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel, which is currently overseeing significant investment to boost skills and job opportunities for young people as a result of the Leeds City Region’s 2012 City Deal. This includes a £4.6m Apprenticeship Hubs Programme, which has helped almost 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) take on an apprentice since its launch in 2013, and recently received royal endorsement from HRH The Duke of York KG.

Bob Cryan is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and Chair of the Business Innovation and Growth Panel, which oversees the LEP’s work on inward investment, international trade, innovation and SME competitiveness – including the £26m Business Growth Programme which to date has helped 250 SMEs expand and create around 2,000 jobs. The Queen’s Birthday Honour caps off a momentous year for Bob, with the University of Huddersfield having previously been awarded the Times Higher Education University of the Year award, Times Higher Education Best University Workplace award, and two Queens Awards for Enterprise.

Former DLA Piper Managing Partner, Neil McLean, was the first LEP Board Chair. Building on almost a decade of prior partnership working at the city region level, Neil established the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership as a leading LEP nationally. Under his chairmanship, the LEP worked with City Region local authority partners to agree a landmark City Deal with government, paving the way for real devolution of funding and powers to the LEP and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which was established as a result. This process laid the foundations for an even more extensive transfer of power and funding through a Local Growth Deal, which the LEP and its partners will agree this summer.