Annual Conference

LEP Annual Conference 2017

Welcome to the conference page for the LEP Annual Conference 2017.  This year our conference is being held at the QEII Conference Centre in London on Monday 27th March.  Registration will open at 11.30am followed by lunch and will close at 5.30pm.

The conference will showcase the impact that the LEPs have made in driving local economic growth and will look to the future with a focus on industrial strategy.  

Our speaker line-up is now confirmed and a summary of the conference programme can be downloaded here.  


We are delighted to have Greener Journeys as our platinum sponsor.  




We are delighted to announce the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as our keynote speaker.

Sajid Javid was appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in July 2016 and is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).  Sajid served as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from May 2015 until July 2016. He was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from April 2014 to May 2015 and previously he was both the Economic and Financial Secretary to the Treasury. He was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee from June to November 2010.  

Prior to entering politics, Sajid had a successful career in business and finance. Aged 25, he became a Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank and he later moved to Deutsche Bank in London to help build its business in emerging market countries.

He was elected Conservative MP for Bromsgrove in 2010.




Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys

Greener Journeys is a coalition of the UK’s major public transport groups and other supporters committed to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices.  

Claire is also a Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and a regular columnist for the monthly magazine Transport Times. She was also an Advisor to Transport for Greater Manchester, providing strategic advice to the monthly Executive Board.  She is a Chartered Fellow (FCILT) of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA).

Greener Journeys will be launching the Transport Knowledge Hub at the conference. 




Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair, ScaleUp Institute

Sherry is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor who currently chairs the Financial Strategy Advisory Group for the University of Cambridge, the Scale-Up Institute and Founders4Schools. She is a non-executive director for the London Stock Exchange Group and Zoopla. She also is a Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London and serves on the Science, Industry and Translation Committee of the Royal Society.

Sherry was awarded the CBE for services to entrepreneurship in 2013. In 2014 she authored the Scale-Up Report from which the Scale-Up Institute has been created.





Dr Adam Marshall, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

Adam Marshall was appointed Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce in October 2016. His principal role is to represent and champion the interests of accredited Chambers of Commerce and their tens of thousands of business members covering every size and sector of business, and employing over five million people in the UK. 

Previously, Adam served as the BCC’s Executive Director for Policy and External Affairs (July 2009-March 2016), and as Acting Director General (March-October 2016). 

Prior to joining BCC, Adam helped start up the Centre for Cities, built commercial links between industry and universities, and worked in the broadcast media. He holds a BA from Yale University and MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. Adam is a national of the United Kingdom and the USA. 

 Adam will be speaking on business and place: working together to build competitive advantage and growth prospects.



Martin McTague, Policy Director, Federation of Small Businesses

Martin is a graduate engineer and formed his first company in 1987. Since then he has owned and managed several businesses focussed on developing new technology and exploiting market opportunities in the Far East and USA. He has been a member of the FSB for 19 years and in that time has focussed on lobbying local, national and regional agencies, government ministers and political bodies to prioritise small business issues. 

In 2008 he established a consultancy business to provide a trusted source of political intelligence, strategic advice and lobbying support for clients in the North of England. Their best known clients in are Northumbrian Water and the Port of Tyne. His success has been built on 20 years’ experience close to the top of Government and excellent working relations with senior decision makers in No10, Cabinet Office, BIS, DEFRA, DECC and council leaders in the North of England. 

He is a currently the FSB’s Policy Director, Director of Northern Business Forum, Member of the National Growth Board; Member of MOD National Employers Advisory Board. Former positions include: Member of the CBI Regional Council in North East; Member of Northern Way Innovation in Industry Steering Group; Member of the Investment Panel at Northern Enterprise Limited.


Kevin O'Connor, Managing Director, Arriva UK - UK Bus

Kevin, who will sit on Arriva’s Executive Committee, joins Arriva on 2 March from G4S where he held a variety of senior leadership roles between 2001 and 2015.  In his new role, Kevin will be responsible for the development and overall direction of Arriva’s UK regional bus businesses and its London bus operations – working closely with its regional managing directors.

The third largest bus provider in the regional bus market, Arriva’s UK Bus business operates commercial, contracted and tendered services with a fleet of some 5,900 buses and over 16,000 employees across the country.  Arriva is also a major player in the London bus market where it operates 1,200 buses for Transport for London.




David Brown, Group Chief Executive, Go-Ahead 

David was appointed Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead in 2011 and he has overall responsibility and leadership for Group performance.  He has over 33 years' experience in the industry with particular expertise in the London bus market and is former managing director of Surface Transport at Transport for London.  He has thorough knowledge and understanding of the Group’s business, having been chief executive of Go-Ahead’s London bus business from 2003 to 2006 and advisor to the main Board.





 Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair, Network Rail

Sir Peter was Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) from 2006 to 2015, having served since 2001 as TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport. He led, and played a key role in preparing for, the successful operation of London's transport for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was formerly deputy director UK Bus for FirstGroup and previously MD of CentreWest London Buses. He started his transport career in 1975 as a London Transport graduate trainee. Sir Peter was elected president of the International Public Transport Association (UITP) in May 2013. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport and a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year's Honours List, having been made CBE in 2006.  Sir Peter is a trustee of London's Transport Museum.





Claudia Harris, Chief Executive, The Careers & Enterprise Company 

Claudia Harris is the Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, the government-backed organisation set up to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work. She has held this role since shortly after the organisation was established in 2015. Before this, she was a partner at the consultancy firm McKinsey & Company where she co-led their client work on talent and skills. Previous roles also include working in the healthcare team at the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Claudia is an Enterprise Adviser at Quintin Kynaston School in Marlborough Hill, London, where she helps support the team in developing their school career strategy. She is also a member of the 30% Club Steering Committee which works to deliver greater gender balance at board level. She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.






Charlotte Keenan, Head of Corporate Engagement, EMEA, Goldman Sachs 

Charlotte joined Goldman Sachs in 2015 as Head of Corporate Engagement, EMEA.   She oversees the 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme, and the Office of Corporate Engagement which leads the Firm’s impact investing and philanthropic work.    

Previously, Charlotte was the Chief Executive of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation,  a global organisation focused on countering extremism.  She started her career in Investment Banking, working firstly with Jefferies & Co in Houston, and then with JPMorgan Cazenove in London. 

Charlotte holds a Master’s Degree from Oxford University. She was also a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University where she studied International Relations and holds a Master’s in International Affairs Degree from Columbia University in New York.  Charlotte serves as a Non-Executive Director of Red Squirrel Wine Ltd, and also holds the Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust.      




Thomas Fourcade, Director Exports and Investment, Southern England, Department for International Trade

Tom Fourcade has over 20 years’ experience of building businesses and supporting business growth in advisory, investment and governmental roles.

He has participated in creating several successful businesses from start-up, including two as CEO and in non-executive director capacities. Tom has extensive experience of the process for growth stage businesses across a variety of sectors and has held the role of Investment Director for a private equity investment fund. He has worked with entrepreneurs and investors across the world to establish international trading relationships and to develop new multinational businesses. Amongst other sectors Tom has particular expertise across environmental technologies, renewable energy and resources management.

Tom is an Applied Sciences graduate of Kingston University, London and a member of the UK Institute of Directors.






Andrew Lambert CEng MIET

Andrew is CEO of Electronic Media Services technology consultancy, a Board Member for the Enterprise M3 LEP and a non-executive director for The China Britain Business Council. He is an experienced board level executive with extensive practical experience of developing and growing businesses in Europe and Asia.


Sponsors and exhibitors

We are delighted to have the following organisations on board for our annual conference: 

Greener Journeys is the national campaign for modal switch from car to bus and coach and is made up of an alliance of bus and coach companies, local authorities and other stakeholders.  The vision of Greener Journeys is to transform our communities into cleaner, greener, less congested and more prosperous places to live and work, where public transport is a convenient and desirable choice for everyone.   Greener Journeys aims to facilitate modal shift through encouraging high quality bus services on all routes and by lobbying for the most bus-friendly policy instruments to be used by local and national government.  For more information visit the Greener Journeys website.



The Careers & Enterprise Company helps young people consider all the options available to them when they leave school and ensure they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain. The government is determined that schools, colleges and employers should work in partnership to spread outstanding careers advice, guidance and inspiration to every young person across the country, regardless of their background or location.  For more information, visit the Careers & Enterprise Company website.



SQA provides a wide range of high quality, internationally recognised qualifications and associated services.  SQA works with schools, colleges, universities and training organisations to develop and deliver qualifications and assessments. SQA also develops customised awards to meet the needs of individual companies and organisations. In addition, SQA provides advice, support and services, such as expertise in assessment, that enable organisations to succeed in meeting a wide range of educational and workforce development challenges.  For more information visit the SQA website.



 We are delighted to have the following confirmed exhibitors:












Conference Films

You can enjoy a short summary film of the 2016 Conference, and the full speech by The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP (Secretary of State, Department of Communities & Local Government), by clicking on the images below. These and other speeches given by businesses, Ministers and stakeholder at the Conference, can be viewed on the LEP Network's You Tube channel.

Presentations given by the Conference speakers can be downloaded here.

Graphic Recordings

A visual record of the points arising in the three sessions from our March 2016 conference can be downloaded by clicking on the three images below. Photos of the day are also available on the LEP Network's Flickr page.