LEP’s new interim chair to encourage entrepreneurship and build digital skills

Mark Roberts

Award-winning entrepreneur Mark Roberts has been appointed interim chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Board (LEP). 

Roberts – who co-founded successful online retailer, Beer Hawk, and has worked within global blue-chip companies at senior executive level – replaces Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL who stepped down as chair at the completion of his tenure.

He has been a member of the LEP Board since June 2019 and served as deputy chair since March 2020.

The LEP has also formally welcomed 24 new members who have joined to represent private sector business in the region and will work within various Combined Authority committees.

Roberts said: “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to accelerate our progress and build on the strong foundations laid by Sir Roger Marsh.

“The depth of expertise within the LEP Board means we are in a very strong position to continue to support business across our region and strengthen economic growth.

“I’m extremely passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship and building digital skills and will continue this focus in my new position.

“I’m also delighted our LEP community has been further strengthened by 24 new members who represent the private sector.

“To have such a strong representation from a wide range of industries will significantly enhance our ability to support and work with business in the region.

“It also differentiates us from many Local Enterprise Partnerships who would no doubt relish the ability to have such active involvement from the business community.”

The 24 new members who have joined the LEP have been drawn from various businesses and organisations in the region including the professional services sector, engineering, the digital and textiles sectors, as well as manufacturing and the creative sector. 

Also, Professor Shirley Congdon, the vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford, has taken up the role of deputy chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Committee.