Four top businesses leaders appointed to The Marches LEP Board
The body responsible for driving economic growth across the region has strengthened its top-level team with four new appointments to its board.
Paul Kalinauckas and James Staniforth have been appointed to The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership’s board after an exhaustive recruitment process.
Meanwhile Councillor Jonathan Lester joins the board in his new role as leader of Herefordshire Council while Andrew Manning Cox takes up his seat in connection with his post as new chairman of the Marches LEP’s designated Enterprise Zone in Hereford, Skylon Park.
Board chairman Graham Wynn said he was delighted to welcome all four to the Marches LEP team.
“The range of skills and expertise which all four new members bring to the Marches LEP will be of enormous help as we continue to drive economic growth across the region.
“I have no doubt that these four new appointments represent a significant strengthening of the board and look forward to working with each of them in the years to come.”
Mr Kalinauckas, from Wellington, is the founder chief executive of West Midlands-based BCRS Business Loans, which was established in 2002 as a not-for-profit lender to help small business access funding.
He is a former Secretary General of the British Junior Chamber of Commerce, a supporter of Young Enterprise and a member investor in Community Benefit Societies across the West Midlands. He is a board director of Responsible Finance, his trade association, and was awarded the “Outstanding Leader of the Year” in 2016.
Mr Staniforth is the Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, which was formed from the merger of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.
He was previously Principal and CEO of Strode College in Somerset for seven years, leading the college to being graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2014. He also served as a senior examiner for AQA in A Level History and currently chairs a national policy group for the Association of Colleges.
Mr Manning Cox is a recently retired litigation and arbitration specialist at global law firm Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and is well known as a keen advocate for Herefordshire businesses. He has represented a number of Herefordshire organisations as well as worked with blue chip clients such as British Airways, EON and Heineken.
Councillor Lester was elected the new Leader of Herefordshire Council in March after seven years on the authority. He is ward member for Three Crosses and has been a cabinet member for Young People and Children’s Wellbeing since 2015. More recently, Councillor Lester was deputy leader of the council.
About the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
- The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is driving accelerated economic growth through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites across the region. It aims to deliver 70,000 homes and 40,000 jobs by 2031
- The Marches region, which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is a dynamic business region where entrepreneurs flourish alongside global players. Covering 2,300 sq miles and with a growing population of 666,700, it is home to 29,800 businesses and a £12.3 billion economy
- Bordered by the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west, the Marches' key centres of population and employment are the city of Hereford and thriving towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. A network of 25 smaller market towns and a large rural area make up the rest of the settlement mix – with the Marches recognised as being one of the most enterprising regions in the UK
- High profile businesses which have chosen to base operations here include BAE Defence Systems; GKN; Westons Cider; Grainger & Worrall; Stadco; Caterpillar; Mϋller Dairy UK, Doncasters Aerospace, Denso, Capgemini, Ricoh, Cargill, Heineken, Grocontinental, McConnels, Kerry Ingredients, Special Metals, Kingspan and Makita
- The Marches is also home to centres of excellence and institutions which promote and foster the transfer of knowledge including Harper Adams University and its National Centre for Precision Farming, University Centre Shrewsbury, the University of Wolverhampton campus and e-innovation centre at Priorslee, and Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury
- The designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches LEP is in Hereford, at Skylon Park. It is the only Enterprise Zone in England with a unique defence and security sector focus, drawing on the city's heritage as the home of the SAS
- The LEP area is home to some iconic places of interest. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Offa’s Dyke, the rivers Severn and Wye, and places of national renown including Ludlow and Ross-on-Wye make it a highly popular place to both visit and relocate to
- The Marches has a diverse business base and is recognised for its sector strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering; agri-food and drink; automotive and defence & security
- Business support in the Marches is offered via the Marches Growth Hub, a business-friendly website at marchesgrowthhub.co.uk and helpline on 0345 6000 727, developed by the LEP
- You can learn more about the Marches LEP at marcheslep.org.uk and contact the LEP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org