Hough to step down

ROBERT Hough, who has led the Liverpool City Region LEP since its formation in 2012, is to stand down at the end of June 2016.

As chairman, he was instrumental in establishing the LEP in 2012 when the Liverpool City Region LEP formally took over the resources of The Mersey Partnership, including its membership structure.

LEPs were established by the Government to bring together businesses and local authorities to drive private-sector led growth and job creation.

Through its membership model, it is seen as unique amongst all 39 LEPs. The LEP has worked with local authority partners to secure one of the first rounds of devolution deals from Government giving powers over areas including skills, business growth and transport, backed by a £232m Growth Deal won by the LEP in 2014.

Hough’s decision to step down comes as the devolution discussions taking place across the city region enter the next phase of negotiations and functions.

He said: “I feel the timing is right for a new chair to lead the Liverpool City Region LEP forward at a significant time in its development and for the city region. We are entering a new phase with the devolution deal agreed with Government and fresh structures being fashioned to drive forward accelerated growth for the city region.

“It has been a tremendously exciting experience to be part of the Liverpool City Region LEP from inception. I take great pride and satisfaction in helping to build strong foundations and to work collaboratively with many stakeholders in the city region including the combined authority and its constituent local authorities.

“The legacy I hope to leave behind is a strong private and public partnership built on dynamic growth sectors and where the LEP has played an important and cohesive role, as well as delivered on its priorities.

“I believe that the city region has made great strides since the LEP was formed and where we have witnessed strong growth in our economy providing unparalleled opportunities for the city region’s businesses and residents and also the wider Northern Powerhouse.”

Mayor of Liverpool and LEP board member, Joe Anderson, said: “Robert has been a genuine friend to Liverpool and the city region for many years in a number of senior positions and I’d like to thank him for his hard work and dedication throughout.

“He leaves the board at a time when many of the foundations of our future growth and prosperity are in place, with major projects like the Mersey Gateway and Liverpool 2 now in sight. I wish him every success with his future endeavours.”

It is understood that Hough will now concentrate on his work with Peel Group, where he is a director.

Steps are being taken to put in place a process to identify a successor, the LEP said.

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