New members for LCR Business and Enterprise Board unveiled

Steve Rotheram

The make-up of Liverpool City Region’s new Business and Enterprise Board has been announced.

The board has taken over the role of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in providing a voice for business in the area, following a shake-up by the Government.

Business leaders from across the city region and its key growth sectors have been named on the new board. There are also reserved places for representatives from further and higher education and the region’s visitor economy.

The board has been appointed after an extensive recruitment process, carried out over recent months, which attracted applications from 65 high-calibre candidates. In appointing the board, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said it has worked hard to ensure gender balance, ethnic diversity, and geographic representation across all six areas of the Liverpool City Region.

Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Thriving local businesses are the backbone of our economy and, for our area to flourish, we need them to succeed. Through our new Business and Enterprise Board, we have pulled together a team that boasts decades of hands on experience at leading organisations and, it’s my hope, that their knowledge and insight will help us to join-up our thinking with fresh ideas to grow our economy.

“I want the Liverpool City Region to be the home of ‘good’ business and I’m looking forward to seeing where the board will take us on our journey to making our area the best place in the country to live, work and run a business in.”

The new board is made up of: David Meyerowitz, Chair (Chief Executive, Haier Europe); Ruth Hartnoll, Deputy Chair (Matchstick Creative, Co Founder and CEO); Rachael Hennigan, (Principal and Chief Executive, Hugh Baird College); Trevor Leeks, (Operations Director, JLR Halewood); Utubakwu Michael Ushie, (CEO Prime Atlantic); Melanie Lewis, (CEO Shakespeare North); Lynn Haime, (CEO Baltic Creative); Jennifer Van Der Merwe, (Director of Kindred-LCR); Mohammed Tawhidul Islam, (Managing Director Islam & Co Chartered Accountants); Prof Mark Power, (Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Liverpool John Moores University); Prof Tim Jones, (Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool); Ruth Wood, (Interim CEO, Mersey Maritime); Rachael Baker, (Managing Director, JJ Smith & Co); Health and Life Sciences – Cluster Board Chair (to be filled); LVEP Chair (to be filled).

Co-opted members: Expertise on Net-zero agenda will be provided by Dom Potter, from Sefton, who is MD Low Carbon Business School; HLS expertise and St Helens business representation will be from Elliot Street, from St Helens, who is CEO and Co-Founder Inovus Medical; Digital expertise and Halton business representation is from Prof Katherine Royse, from Halton, who is Director, Hartree Centre.

David Meyerowitz and Ruth Hartnoll

Cllr Mike Wharton, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority portfolio holder for economic development and business, said: “We’ve made a huge effort to find a diverse range of business leaders from across the city region who can make sure that the business voice is at the heart of our decision-making process.

“We’ve been able to appoint a group of very impressive individuals who I’m sure will come together as a cohesive and effective board.”

David Meyerowitz, chair of the Business and Enterprise Board, said: “I’m hugely excited to get to work with my fellow board members to help shape the strategic direction of the Liverpool City Region’s economy. This is a genuinely representative, high level leadership group, and I look forward to working with them to identify opportunities to stimulate economic growth, productivity and competitiveness across our city region.”

Ruth Hartnoll, deputy chair, said: “This is a really exciting time for businesses in the Liverpool City Region. We’ve brought together a diverse, talented group of business leaders who I’m sure share my enthusiasm to help the combined authority create the conditions for local businesses of all sizes, and from all sectors, to thrive.”

Two board slots are yet to be filled. One of these is reserved for the health and life science Cluster Board Chair, yet to be confirmed, and the other is the LVEP Chair, yet to be appointed. The HE role will alternate between the Vice Chancellors of the University of Liverpool and LJMU.

Board members will be appointed to serve for varying periods of time and will not be permitted to serve for more than two consecutive terms. This will enable the board to be refreshed periodically.

While the board is restricted to 14 people, there is provision to co-opt subject matter experts for up to a year at a time, to enable the board to benefit from expert input.

At this time, three such experts have been co-opted from the low carbon Business School on Net Zero, from SciTech Daresbury on digital innovation/AI, and from Inovus Medical on health and life sciences.

The board’s first formal meeting will be in October.

Under plans approved by the combined authority in April, the new Business and Enterprise Board has been set up within the authority as a key means of engaging with the local business community.

Bringing the business voice directly into the combined authority’s policy-making processes will enable it to work more closely and directly with businesses, especially those in industry clusters that will be of critical importance to the future success of the city region economy.

Following a national review of the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships, the combined authority was required by government to integrate the functions of the LEP into its own governance structure.

Since the creation of the combined authority, several LEP-related functions, such as setting local economic priorities and leading on economic growth and job creation, have already moved across to the authority.

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