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Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP announces changes to top team

Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP announces changes to top team

🕔30.Jun 2015

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP has refreshed its top team by appointing a new board director and a social enterprise champion.

Simon Marks, a director of leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm EC Harris, joins as a new non-executive director and will lead the optimising assets element of the GBSLEP’s agenda.

He takes over the role that was previously held by Chris Webster, formerly of Miller Constructions.

Melanie Mills becomes GBSLEP’s first social enterprise champion, a position created following recognition of the contribution this sector makes to the economy and the potential to grow further. Melanie is social sector engagement director for Big Society Capital and a former chief executive of Social Enterprise West Midlands.

The new appointees will join a GBSLEP team gearing itself up to oversee delivery of a £380 million Growth Deal for the Greater Birmingham area, and the formation of a West Midlands combined authority.

Mr Marks brings with him more than 30 years of extensive experience in the delivery of major residential developments, automotive facilities, infrastructure, and public sector transformation.

Andy Street, GBSLEP chairman, said:

Simon’s been a strong supporter and advocate of GBSLEP over the last few years and we’re delighted to have him join us on the board. He will undoubtedly build on the excellent work carried out by Chris Webster and will have a significant contribution to make to our ambitions in this area moving forward.

Mr Marks said:

This is a particularly exciting time to be joining the GBSLEP board, with the economy growing and this in turn driving the property and construction sector, much progress has been made with optimising assets.

With the expansion of the investment and size of the Enterprise Zone and vital funding secured via the City Deal and Growth Deal, it is important we continue to focus on the delivery element. We also need to build on our achievements so far by developing a pipeline of future projects and initiatives and our case for future potential deals.

Melanie Mills said:

I’m really pleased to be appointed as the first social enterprise champion to help embed the needs and opportunities of the sector within the GBSLEP’s plans for growth. I believe my experience will enable me to provide a fair and balanced voice for this sector, while helping the GBSLEP focus on harnessing the true potential of social enterprise. In addition I hope my knowledge of social finance will help GBSLEP to explore new options for social innovation and investment.

In line with the agreed rotation among the universities, the new higher education representative joining the board is Cliff Allan, vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, who is replacing Professor Dame Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University, as board director for building sector strengths and opportunities.

Andy Street continued:

I would like to thank Julia for her tireless work in leading this key sectors element of our agenda and for her support, wise counsel and drive in taking forward the wider GBSLEP strategy.

In particular, Julia has steered us towards a greater focus on how we can make the most of our research and technology strengths to drive growth in key sectors including energy.  Through her vision and insight we are positioned strongly for the future with the new sector champions she has brought on board.

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