Peter Pawsey, chairman of Robert West Consulting Engineers and director of Midland Heart, has been appointed as the inaugural Chair of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
His extensive career spans 35 years in construction and property sectors at home and internationally – including as a director of Tarmac Construction – as well as several high profile public sector appointments.
For eight years Mr Pawsey was chair of Advantage West Midlands’ successful Rural Regeneration Zone which helped deliver over £200million of regeneration projects into Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire in the last five years.
He was also deputy chair of Business Link West Midlands and has recently joined the board of leading housing, care and regeneration group Midland Heart.
Mr Pawsey takes up his new role at Worcestershire LEP with immediate effect.
He said: “Since moving to Worcestershire in 1993, I have developed a strong passion to see the county prosper and grow.
“Worcestershire holds a key strategic position geographically and in transport terms. I strongly believe that with the right focus, leadership and commitment it can achieve far more and become an attractive and prominent place to live and work, combining growth in jobs and the economy with regenerated and new social and leisure facilities, whilst retaining the outstanding natural beauty and charm of the county.
“The potential for the WLEP is considerable, the need is extensive and widespread, and the challenge is to get all of the parts pulling together across the county to the mutual and common benefit of all.”
“I am very excited and honoured to be trusted with this important task.”
The Worcestershire LEP area is central to many key industries including defence, aerospace, manufacturing, agriculture, food and drink, automotive, environmental technologies, sport and tourism.
“This is a coherent region with a diverse economy and our success will involve working together with our partners and immediate neighbouring LEPs,” added Mr Pawsey.
Worcestershire LEP – which comprises Worcestershire County Council and the six district councils of Worcester City, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest and Wychavon – is led by private sector businesses in partnership with the public sector.
Its task is to shape the best business environment for the county, stimulate growth of the local economy, encourage inward investment, boost enterprise and job creation, and actively promote Worcestershire as a desirable place to invest, live and work.
“Mr Pawsey’s credentials are ideally suited to the role,” explained Worcestershire LEP’s acting chairman of the executive board Francis Christie.
“We are very fortunate to have found a Chair who can bring a lifetime of achievement in both private and public sector roles.
“Importantly, he understands the planning and development processes and how to engage public and private sector organisations so they work in partnership.
“His experience in similar roles means he appreciates the challenges of attracting new companies to Worcestershire, encouraging job-creation and growing the local economy.
“There are exciting opportunities ahead and I’m delighted to welcome Peter to the executive Chair role. He has the presence and gravitas to be a highly effective advocate for Worcestershire on the national stage.”
Mr Christie led the team that made the successful bid for the Worcestershire LEP. One of the early successes of the Worcestershire LEP in January was the successful bid to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for the 70 hectare Worcester Technology Park. It was one of six bids supported by the LEP. Others included the expansion of the Science Park in Malvern and a Business Park in Evesham.