The LEP Network

On 4 August the Minister for Levelling Up and the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business sent a joint letter to LEP chairs, combined authority mayors, local authority leaders and the Mayor of London, confirming the government’s decision to withdraw government funding for LEPs from April 2024 and transfer their functions – namely, business representation, strategic economic planning, and the delivery of government programmes - to local and combined authorities.

The Government notes that some LEPs may choose to continue operations without core funding, either until a devolution deal is agreed for their area or in perpetuity and states that where an upper tier local authority or authorities wish to continue using the LEP as a vehicle to continue delivery of these core functions, or if they wish in due course to pursue integration of a LEP, they are free to do so – the nature and status of such arrangements are a decision for them to make.

The LEP Network is working to 1) ensure we support all our stakeholders and partners to manage the transition of LEP functions to local democratic institutions as smoothly and effectively as possible and 2) work with those LEPs where it is decided locally to retain them in some form. 

The LEP Network Ltd is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, governed by LEP Chairs who volunteer their time. They are responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the LEP Network, finances, operational actions, and signing off annual audited accounts; and confirming procurement procedures. To view our Terms of Reference, Operations Plan, and Audited Accounts, please click here.

The LEP Network Board meet throughout the year and set the overall policy direction and strategy for LEPs. For agendas and minutes of these meetings, please click here.

The LEP Network Board

Mark Bretton MBE TD +
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Mark Bretton MBE TD

Chair of the LEP Network

Mark Bretton MBE TD Chair of the LEP Network

Mark was appointed Chair of the LEP Network in September 2019.  Mark was awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023 for services to business, the economy and to charity, particularly during Covid-19.  He is an independent consultant with 40 years of wide-ranging business experience, including in several high-profile Government programmes.  Mark was a Managing Director (Partner) in the leadership team of the professional services firm Accenture and before that worked for Plessey, Siemens, Royal Mail and Tata.  He sat on the Business Leaders’ Council of the charity Teach First for 13 years and is an Ambassador for Home Start Herts.

Mark has an MBA in Export Management and International Business from City, University of London Business School, and a BSc Econ (Hons) in Management Studies. He was a Royal Signals Reserve Officer (Major) and holds a Territorial Decoration.  Mark was a member of the Secretary of State for BEIS’ Levelling Up Taskforce, of the Minister for Local Government’s Economic Recovery Working Group and the Business Action Council, all focused on helping the country grow out of the Covid-19 crisis.  Mark joined the Hertfordshire LEP Board as Business Representative and Chair Designate in January 2016, and was Chair from June 2016 until March 2023.

View LEP Board Member Register of Interests.

Elizabeth Fagan CBE +
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Elizabeth Fagan CBE

Chair D2N2 LEP, Chair East Midlands Regional Group of LEPs.

Elizabeth Fagan CBE Chair D2N2 LEP, Chair East Midlands Regional Group of LEPs.

Elizabeth Fagan became Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership in July 2018. Elizabeth is the recent former Non-Executive Chairman of Boots, having been appointed as the first female Managing Director of Boots in 2016. Elizabeth sits on the board of the Office for Students, the independent regulator for higher education in England. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Australian listed pooling solutions company Brambles.

She is President of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and is a member and past President of Women in Advertising and Communications Club. Elizabeth was also a member of the ASA Council for six years. In August 2013, she became a Fellow of the Marketing Society and, in the same year, was awarded a Cosmetic Executive Women UK, Achiever Award.

Elizabeth has been awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by Nottingham Trent University and in January 2020 received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for her services to gender equality in business.

Elizabeth is the nominated Chair for the East Midlands Regional Group of LEPs: D2N2, Greater Lincolnshire; Leicester.

Click to view Elizabeth's Register of Interests.

Elizabeth can be contacted through the D2N2 LEP on  01159 578 250 or .

Julie Kapsalis +
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Julie Kapsalis

Chair, Coast to Capital LEP and Chair of Catalyst South regional group of LEPs

Julie Kapsalis Chair, Coast to Capital LEP and Chair of Catalyst South regional group of LEPs

Julie has worked in economic development for over 15 years with a particular focus on enterprise, skills and social inclusion. She served as an advisor to the UK Government's task force on women's enterprise and has recently contributed to the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship including developing the expert in residence programme and the pilot to gender disaggregate LEP data. 

She is a Board Member at Gatwick Diamond Business and Trustee of the Worthing Theatres & Museum. She is former Chair of the Chichester Chamber of Commerce & Industry. 

Julie is Managing Director of Chichester College Group with responsibility for a portfolio of commercial businesses including a chain of childcare nurseries, examination board and international education. 

Julie previously worked as director at the South East England Development Agency, managing a portfolio of contracts including Business Link and Finance South East. Prior to this she has a background in consumer marketing and PR. In 2012 she fulfilled a long-held ambition to work on the London 2012 Olympics and managed a legacy programme to encourage volunteering and community engagement in sport.

Clare Hayward MBE DL +
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Clare Hayward MBE DL

Chair Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Chair NP11 group of LEPs

Clare Hayward MBE DL Chair Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Chair NP11 group of LEPs

Clare co-founded, developed and sold Academee, a global leadership development consultancy, to Oliver Wyman, a division of Marsh and McLennan Companies in 2008. Retained post-acquisition as Global Partner of Sales and Market Development within this Fortune250 group.

A successful business woman and entrepreneur focused on leadership and strategic engagement who has coached, facilitated and chaired boards, senior management teams and leaders across the globe over the last 20 years working in industry sectors including technology, banking and finance, natural resources, retail and manufacturing.

Experience also includes investment funding and negotiating the sale and purchase of several businesses. Clare also has significant experience within the community, charity and local political landscape.

Click here to download Clare's Register of Interests.

Clare can be contacted via the Cheshire & Warrington LEP 

Peter Horrocks CBE +
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Peter Horrocks CBE

Chair South East Midlands LEP, Chair Ox-Cam Arc Regional Group of LEPs.

Peter Horrocks CBE Chair South East Midlands LEP, Chair Ox-Cam Arc Regional Group of LEPs.

Peter Horrocks CBE was Vice-Chancellor of The Open University from 2015 until April 2018. Prior to joining the OU, Peter was Director of the BBC World Service.

At the Open University Peter devised the university’s strategy Students First bringing a new ‘digital by design’ approach to the university’s teaching. He oversaw significant restructuring and the prioritisation of resources for student benefit.

He also chaired FutureLearn, the UK’s only higher education open social learning higher education platform. FutureLearn has over 7 million users globally.

At the BBC, Peter held several roles, including being editor of Newsnight and Panorama, Head of Current Affairs, Head of TV News and Head of Multimedia News. He won two BAFTA awards for his journalism.

In 2015 Peter was awarded a CBE for Services to Broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Click to view Peter's Register of Interests.

Peter can be contact via the South East Midlands LEP.

Paul Moorby OBE +
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Paul Moorby OBE

Chair, Swindon & Wiltshire LEP; Chair Western Gateway group of LEPs

Paul Moorby OBE Chair, Swindon & Wiltshire LEP; Chair Western Gateway group of LEPs

Paul joined the Board of Swindon & Wiltshire LEP in July 2019 and took the Chair in March 2020. He founded Chipside Limited in 2003. Chipside is a rural employer in Brinkworth. The company is a leading UK tech company, providing Mipermit services to both local government and the public across the UK.

Paul has worked with local government on digital transformation projects for over 25 years. He was awarded OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2019 for services to promoting UK Technology abroad. In April 2019, Mipermit was recognised with a Queens Award for Enterprise, Innovation.

Paul has lived in Swindon since 1994.  The Western Gateway group of LEPs are GFirst, West of England, and Swindon & Wiltshire.

Click to view Paul's Register of Interests.

Paul can be contacted via the Swindon & Wiltshire LEP.

Karl Tucker +
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Karl Tucker

Chair, Heart of the South West LEP; Chair, Great South West group of LEPs

Karl Tucker Chair, Heart of the South West LEP; Chair, Great South West group of LEPs

Karl is the Chair of Yeo Valley Farms Ltd & Yeo Valley Ltd having previously been the Executive Chairman of Yeo Valley Farms Production Ltd until June 2020.  Karl has been with Yeo Valley since 1996 having joined from the Quarrying Industry and before that having served in the British Army.  Karl has been a key member of the leadership team that has seen Yeo Valley grow to be the UK’s largest organic food brand and one of the largest, independent, family owned dairy businesses in the UK. Prior his role as the Executive Chairman he had been Managing Director since June 2017 and prior to that Joint Managing Director from November 2013.  Prior to this Karl was the Finance, IT and Procurement Director since 2006.

As well as his role at Yeo Valley Karl is the Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, sits on the SW CBI Council, is a member of the Somerset Growth Board and sits on the Advisory Board for the South West Food Hub.

Karl is also a trustee of the Bridgwater Education Trust, a body aiming to raise the aspiration, motivation and attainment levels of the young people of Bridgwater in Somerset and trustee of ‘Feeding Bristol’, a charity working to eliminate food poverty and food insecurity in the city of Bristol. He is Governor of the Merchants Academy school in Bristol and Member of Trustees of Churchill Academy and Sixth Form. He joined the board of Trustees of South Bristol Youth earlier in 2021 and will take over as Chair in June 2021.

On the LEP Network Board, Karl represents the Great South West group of LEPs.

Click to view Karl's Register of Interests.

Karl can be contacted via the Heart of the South West LEP.

Sonia Roberts MBE +
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Sonia Roberts MBE

Chair, The Marches LEP; Chair, West Midlands group of LEPs

Sonia Roberts MBE Chair, The Marches LEP; Chair, West Midlands group of LEPs

After a successful commercial career as director with Laura Ashley, Sonia moved to the charitable sector in 2003 as CEO of Landau, one of the UKs most prestigious supported training and employment organisation. She has led the charity from a £200k to a £4.5m turnover business and increased in service delivery across the UK.

Landau is a Centre of Excellence for Individual Placement Support (IPS) supporting people with enduing mental health conditions into employment, it holds the silver covenant award in recognition for it’s work with Veterans and recently was awarded the Queens award for Enterprise in recognition of their social mobility work with people facing multi barriers to employment.

Sonia is a champion for equality and diversity, and is The Marches LEP Board representative.

Click here to view Sonia's Register of Interests.

Sonia can be contacted via The Marches LEP.

Sonia represents the West Midlands group of LEPs on the LEP Network Board.

LEP Network Contacts

Mark Livesey +
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Mark Livesey

Chief Executive,

Mark Livesey Chief Executive,

Mark Livesey joined the LEP Network in December 2019 from Cheshire and Warrington LEP, where he held the joint role of Chief Executive Marketing Cheshire and Deputy Chief Executive Cheshire and Warrington LEP.  Mark joined the LEP in July 2016 from the Department for Communities and Local Government. His civil service career included serving as the Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and successive housing and planning ministers.  During his civil service career, Mark was also responsible for Coastal Communities, High Streets and Town Centres, during which time he set up and launched the Great British Coast brand, the Great British High Street brand and launched the national Great British High Streets competition.  Mark currently sits on the Board of the Institute of Economic Development and on the Community Board of the Digital Poverty Alliance.

Mike Dennehy +
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Mike Dennehy

Communications Manager,

Mike Dennehy Communications Manager,

Mike took up the role of Communications Manager in July 2015.

Prior to this Mike worked for FTSE 100 business Babcock International Group as their PR and Public Affairs Manager working in the Support Services Division with a particular focus on their skills and learning business.  Previous to this Mike worked in corporate communications for Centrica plc and BAE Systems.

Mike's communications experience includes working for BBC News , including a stint as political researcher with BBC Westminster, and working in government communications as press secretary for the energy minister, Home Secretary, and International Trade Minister.  

Jayne Atkinson +
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Jayne Atkinson

Office Manager,

Jayne Atkinson Office Manager,

Jayne joined the LEP Network in June 2015.

Her background is in marketing communications, event management and providing business support at a senior level.

She has worked for large corporates and SMEs and in a variety of industry sectors including, training, market research, digital print, automotive, IT services, recruitment, financial services and construction.

Natasha Waller +
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Natasha Waller

Policy Manager,

Natasha Waller Policy Manager,

Natasha joined the LEP Network as Policy Manager in January 2023 following working at New Anglia LEP for over 5 years. There she was the Skills Manager working with education providers in Norfolk and Suffolk and many stakeholders including the local authorities, DWP, business intermediaries and the third sector. She established the apprenticeship levy transfer scheme and Skills Bootcamps for the LEP plus provided the secretariat for the Skills Advisory Panel and a number of sector skills groups.

Natasha has worked in land-based Further Education colleges for over 15 years and roles driving apprenticeship uptake and career inspiration. She has developed academic curriculum and undertook external examining roles throughout the country.

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