New business leaders on board to drive region forward

Amir Hussain

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced the appointment of three new members to its board to help drive the continued growth of the region.

The new Board members bring significant experience and expertise to bolster the existing strengths and achievements of the Board, with a particular focus on the built environment, arts and culture, and digital sector – in which the City Region is gaining a global reputation.

Joining the board are Nicola Greenan, director of East Street Arts; Amir Hussain, managing director of Yeme Architects in Bradford; and professor Adam Beaumont, CEO of telecommunications firm, aql.

They will work with the rest of the LEP Board and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to champion the City Region’s interests on a national and international scale, develop policies to grow the region’s economy and boost jobs, and deliver the City Region’s £1 billion-plus Growth Deal, the largest of its kind in the UK.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP said: “Effective public-private partnership working has been fundamental to our success as a City Region and will be vital as we look ahead to the challenges and opportunities facing our region.

“I’m delighted to welcome three new LEP Board members of the highest calibre, who will no doubt make significant contributions towards our ambition of making our City Region the best place in the UK to live, work or grow a business.

“I’m especially pleased that, with these new Board appointments, we are able to build the LEP’s expertise in sectors that are critical to the future development of our City Region – particularly in the digital and cultural sectors, in which our region already has a global reputation and which Adam and Nicola will help us develop further, and the growth of our places, a field in which Amir has significant experience.

“We’ve achieved a lot already but really this is just the beginning. I am delighted to welcome our new Board members and I look forward to working with them to deliver the next exciting phase of growth for the people and businesses of the City Region.”

Newly appointed board member Nicola Greenan, director of East Street Arts, said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed and look forward to working towards building a city region with creativity, culture and innovation at its heart.

“With my background – having been born and raised in Seacroft and more recently with my roles at the LS14 Trust and East Street Arts – it shows the LEP’s desire to create an inclusive board that listens to alternative opinion and shape a truly pioneering future for the city region.”

Speaking about his passion for ensuring inclusive growth through the development of place, managing director of Yeme Architects, Amir Hussain, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as a new LEP board member.

“As a proud Bradfordian, a business founder and owner, and as someone who recognises the crucial link between economic development and wellbeing, I look forward to working with the new and existing membership to connect people and place to improve the social, physical and financial wellbeing of our people.”

On the importance of digital for the future of Leeds City Region, Prof Adam Beaumont, CEO of telecoms operator, aql said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to the LEP board, both as representative of the digital sector but also as an entrepreneur and business owner.

“Leeds City Region is home to some of the biggest and most innovative digital companies in the UK, I look forward to helping to ensure we have the right skills to maintain and grow that position as well as helping to promote the region nationally and internationally to allow even more opportunity for City Region businesses to grow, at home and overseas.”

To date, investment by the LEP has been able to help more than 6,000 SMEs to grow, creating thousands of jobs for local people. The LEP skills services have helped train more than 10,000 employees and, last year, its #techgoals initiative helped almost 11,000 school pupils develop digital and tech skills.

This month has seen the approval of a £20 million proposal for the Leeds Aire Valley and M62 Corridor enterprise zones, which are forecast to create almost 15,000 jobs and add £5 billion to our economic output by 2025.

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