Posted on:
16th September, 2019

Marking a new direction for LEPs

Two new appointments at the LEP Network are set to galvanise LEPs in a new drive to champion their impact and value in building local economic growth and increasing local prosperity across the country.

The appointment of Mark Bretton (above left) as the new Chair of the LEP Network Board and Mark Livesey (above right) as the new Chief Executive of the LEP Network will help chart a new course for the network in building closer engagement with their key audiences. Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City region LEP and the Northern Powerhouse 11, will support them as Vice Chair of the LEP Network Board.

Mark Bretton is currently Chair of Hertfordshire LEP and is an independent business consultant with corporate experience spanning 35 years. Most recently he was a Managing Director in the operations business of leading global professional services company Accenture.

Welcoming his new role, Mark Bretton said:

“I’d like to thank the LEP Chairs for the privilege of being appointed Chair of the LEP Network, it comes at a vital time for LEPs as they position themselves in the new political landscape.

“The LEP Network is setting a new direction and will take centre stage as we adjust to rapidly changing economic conditions and LEPs grasp the business opportunities that will enable their local economies to grow and become more productive.  LEPs have a good track record on delivery, but their hard work and impact is not always understood – that’s all about to change.”

Mark Livesey is currently Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire and Deputy Chief Executive of Cheshire & Warrington LEP.  He was an experienced senior Whitehall civil servant and was responsible for Coastal Communities, High Streets and Town Centres, setting up and launching the Great British High Street Competition.

He will take up his role in December and will be supporting the LEP Network Board working with government ministers and senior Whitehall officials on behalf of England’s 38 LEPs to push home the impact and value LEPs are having in the villages, towns and cities across the country.    

Looking to the future of the LEP Network, Mark Livesey said:

“LEPs are gearing up for a challenging political and business climate, never has their role in building local growth and productivity been more valuable or more vital.

“Making sure our stakeholders and audiences know about the hard work that’s going on in their communities and what LEPs can do for their local businesses will be part of our new drive and I look forward to working with all 38 LEP Chairs and Chief Execs to ensure we nail that message home.”

These latest appointments also strengthen LEPs with a view to self-regulation as they comply with all of the LEP review recommendations; forge a single national LEP voice on behalf of the network; represent LEPs in Whitehall and to external national audiences; and to develop a refreshed strategy and policy for the network.