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New chair sought for York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership board

The York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Y & NY LEP) is (today) launching a campaign to recruit a new chair for its main board as the term of office for current chair, David Kerfoot MBE DL, comes to an end next March.

Applications are being invited from dynamic and experienced business leaders with drive, energy and a passion for York and North Yorkshire. The Chair will be required to lead the Board and help to achieve the LEP’s ambitious vision to strive for a carbon negative region by building a greener, fairer and stronger economy, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and work with partners to realise the region’s devolution ambitions.

The LEP, one of 38 in England, is a business-led partnership between the private sector, local authorities, universities and colleges across York and North Yorkshire. Its role is to help shape future priorities, develop partnerships and secure public and private sector investment.

Since 2014, the Y & NY LEP has invested a total of £230m to support business, infrastructure, and skills across the region including housing, transport, flood alleviation, social inclusion and workforce development.

One example is in Northallerton where the LEP has overseen almost £11m worth of investment to support the transformation of the town. A revamp of the former prison in the town will create Treadmills, a new retail, leisure and business site. The LEP secured £1.8m for the scheme, which is being used to redevelop and re-fit buildings to create a digital hub.

This will draw new businesses into the town centre, support existing firms and retain talent in the area. This will invigorate access and innovation to agri-tech in the surrounding agriculturally driven economy. Infrastructure funding is paving the way for more housing and transport links, building on the LEP’s ambitions for the region’s market towns to be successful and fit for the future.

David Kerfoot MBE DL has been on the Y & NY LEP board since its inception in 2010 and was Deputy Chair for six years before becoming Chair in 2018. He will stand down on 31 March 2021 as his term of office comes to an end.

He said: “It has been a great pleasure and honour to lead this dynamic partnership and although there have been challenges, none more so than with Covid-19, it has been a very rewarding role.

“As Chair, you are able to make a real difference ‘on the ground’ and I look forward to seeing a new Chair take up the legacy and lead the LEP’s vision to build a greener, fairer and stronger economy for the region as we emerge from the pandemic.

“The LEP is looking for a successful business leader who has a knowledge and passion for York and North Yorkshire and who is committed to what the LEP is trying to achieve. It is not a role for a ‘figure head’, it needs someone who is prepared to roll their sleeves up and get ‘stuck in’. The new Chair will need to provide clear, strong, visible leadership and get out and about and talk to people and businesses across the region about what they need.

“During my time as Chair, I’ve seen that it’s not necessarily the biggest investments that make the biggest impact – it’s the ability of the LEP to bring together various organisations, local authorities and businesses that makes the greatest difference and gets things done.”

The new LEP Chair will be joining a diverse group of board members who represent a wide range of private and public sector businesses and organisations from across the region including representatives from micro businesses, SMEs, large corporates and education institutions. As a public private partnership, the board is committed to working together closely to deliver what is best for the region.

The new Chair will have the opportunity to be a part of the proposed devolution deal negotiations for York and North Yorkshire which could potentially provide £2.4 billion of investment in the region over the next 30 years helping to drive the region’s recovery and future growth.

The new Chair will be announced at the Y & NY LEP Annual Conference on 6 November, and in order to provide a stable transition in leadership at this critical time, there will be a five month transition period before David Kerfoot formally completes his term in March 2021.

A minimum commitment of eight-ten days per month is required from the LEP Chair.  The new Chair will serve for a term of three years and can be extended once by the agreement of the Board.

The LEP is committed to diversity and inclusivity in its recruitment of staff and Board Members and this will be reflected in its approach to this recruitment campaign.

Further information is available and applications can be submitted at: www.ynylepchair.com Applications will close on Friday, October 2.

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