New faces join leadership board formerly known as the LEP

Laura Percy U+I

Five business leaders have been appointed to the Greater Manchester Business Board.

Refreshing its membership following the phasing out of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Business Board is designed to be the voice of business at the city regional level.

However, while three women have left the board, only one of the new crop is female, Laura Percy, Senior Development Director, LandsecU+I. 

Also joining the Greater Manchester Business Board are: James Byrne, Partner, Sustainable Ventures; Devrim Celal, CEO, KrakenFlex; Steve Rothberg, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University; and Michael Wilton, Director and Manchester office leader, Arup.

Soon to be retiring University of Manchester President Dame Nancy Rothwell will be stepping down as will Amanda Halford, Richard Topliss, Vanda Murray and Miles Rothbury.

Further new members are expected to be confirmed later this year.

The Business Board is made up of leaders from Greater Manchester’s business community and is chaired by Lou Cordwell with Greater Manchester Economy Lead, Cllr Bev Craig, serving as Vice-Chair.

Earlier this year Government confirmed its decision to scrap Local Enterprise Partnerships, the bodies appointed to drive regional economic development, with their functions transferred to local and combined authorities from April 2024, very much on the lines Greater Manchester’s has operated.

Lou Cordwell said: “Following a thorough recruitment process, we are pleased to welcome James, Devrim, Laura, Steve and Mike to the Greater Manchester Business Board. Their insights and knowledge will be invaluable as we seek to deliver the right kind of economic growth, bringing people and planet with us. I would also like to thank the departing members for their contributions over the years.

“As we transition from the LEP model, and now with our membership refreshed, the Business Board will continue working with local leaders to give representation to our city-region’s business community. Together we remain committed to building a fairer, greener and more innovative Greater Manchester economy.”