Mark Barnett, Chief Operating Officer at The Consortium, has been appointed to the board of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) tasked with supporting the drive for economic growth in the area.
The LEP’s primary focus is to build on the foundations of the previous Business Working Group to create wealth, jobs and new business opportunities in Swindon and across Wiltshire. The new board is made up of 8 representatives from local businesses and 4 from the public sector who assumed their responsibilities on 1 February 2012. They held their first meeting on 10 February to progress a business plan that will focus on the coming year, but also outline plans to March 2015.
Key priorities and objectives are already emerging and fall under four themes:
- Inward Investment
- Stimulating Growth
- Job Creation, Education & Skills
- Economic Infrastructure
Two sub-groups have been formed to take forward specific workstreams:
- Communications & Marketing – to build credibility, profile and position in the economic landscape
- Delivery of the Growing Places Fund – to prioritise investment of the £6.346m revolving capital loan fund that central government has allocated to the LEP
An early priority for the LEP will be how it can support the successful re-development of the Lyneham airfield and maximise the benefits for the local economy during all the stages of the re-development over the next 3-4 years.
Paul Johnson, Chair of the LEP Board commented “I’m delighted to welcome our new board members and was impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm shown by all the candidates for the work of the partnership. I believe that we have chosen a board that has the right balance to represent the area – both Swindon & Wiltshire. We have a really good mix of skills and some continuity from the Business Working Group – which will stand us in good stead in ensuring we don’t lose momentum.”
Mark Barnett, Chief Operating Officer at The Consortium commented “As a local business and employer, we are always keen to support new opportunities for the people and businesses in our area. I’m delighted to be contributing to a partnership that will have a significant impact on the future growth of the economy in Swindon and Wiltshire.”
More information on the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP can be found on their website: www.swlep.biz/home