New LEP Board Members Announced

Solihull Metropolitan Council  PR 951    20/04/2011    [For Immediate Release]

New LEP Board members announced

The new board members have been announced for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.

The board consists of nine posts – eight plus the Chair, who was recently announced as Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis department stores group.

There were over 80 applications for the posts, and a rigorous selection procedure to ensure the right mix of people for the board, which reflects not just the geography of the region, but also the key sectors and different size of businesses in the area. Also taken into account was business acumen, experience and contacts with key stakeholders.

The eight new members are:

Steve Hollis, Midland Chairman KPMG

Rob Brown – Group Managing Director, Roger Bullivant Limited, Nick Bunker – President of Kraft Foods & Cadbury UK/Ireland Kraft Foods, Brian Francis – European Group Chairman, ThyssenKrupp, Paul Heaven – Owner/manager Blue Sky Corporate Finance, David Kaye – Managing Director, National Express , Wade Lyn – Managing Director, Island Delights,  Alan Volkaerts –  Director, Solihull Plant, Jaguar Land Rover

Steve Hollis has also been appointed to the role of Deputy Chair of the Board.

Chair of the LEP, Andy Street, said: “The members of the LEP board represent an impressive range of business talent, not only from the Midlands but the UK as a whole. The combined skills and experience of this team are precisely what the LEP needs to generate lasting benefits for the region, and I am confident we have the right people in place to achieve success.”

Bridget Blow, Chair of the LEP Development Board who led the recruitment process, said: “We had an extremely strong field of candidates, and this is a reflection of the desire from all sectors of business in our area to make the LEP a success. We hope that the skills and enthusiasm of those who applied can also be used in the new structures and consultative bodies that will be created by the LEP.”

In addition Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham has agreed to be the University and Colleges representative on the LEP Board.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Notes on new LEP Board members

ALAN VOLKAERTS – Director, Solihull Plant,  Jaguar Land Rover Alan brings experience from the automotive, advanced manufacturing and engineering industry. He is very interested in skills particularly those coming from schools and further education and is keen to ensure that they meet the needs of growing companies. He is the President of the Solihull Chamber and wants to make sure that the needs of small and medium enterprises are reflected in the work of the LEP Board.

BRIAN FRANCIS – Chairman and Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Tallent Ltd Brian’s company supplies to the car industry and understands the needs of supply chain companies large and small. He has a particular interest in shaping government employment initiatives so that they will be successful. He works internationally.

DAVID KAYE – Managing Director, National Express David  is strong in the transport sector, and interested in skills and people development. He is experienced in working with local government and the ITAs. Track record of lobbying government.

WADE  LYN – Managing Director, Island Delights Wade runs a successful and growing small business in the food sector with a multiracial workforce. He is a user of business support organisations like business link. Wade also understands the challenges e.g. banking regulation faced by small businesses and start ups. He is also a Warden of the Assay office.

PAUL HEAVEN – Owner/Manager – Blue Sky Corporate Finance Ltd Paul is a chartered accountant and the owner/manager of a small independent corporate finance consultancy boutique and the former MD of a computer/software and services business. Paul is keen to help the LEP find the right finance for investment for businesses whatever their size.  Paul is keen to represent the finance and technology sectors

NICK BUNKER – President of Kraft Foods & Cadbury UK /Ireland – Kraft Foods Nick represents the food industry and is keen to support the growth of jobs to the area.

He brings an external view of the LEP from global business.

ROB BROWN – Group Managing Director, Roger Bullivant Limited Rob is a creative entrepreneur who represents the construction industry, and is involved in civil and structural engineering, R & D and plant hire. He is experienced in growing businesses from small to large. He is a magistrate.

STEVE HOLLIS – Midlands Chairman, KPMG
Steve represents the large professional services sector across the LEP, he also has deep knowledge of the economic environment that all businesses are encountering. He is keen to ensure that the chosen LEP projects are appropriately funded from both the public and private sectors.

For further information please contact:

Angharad Lynch,
Tel: 0121 704 6164
Fax: 0121 704 6028
Mob/out of hours: 07788647269
Email: alynch@solihull.gov.uk
Web: www.solihull.gov.uk