Posted on:
6th November, 2020

New Chair announced for York and North Yorkshire LEP

Y&NY LEP has announced the appointment of Helen Simpson OBE, as the new Chair elect of its main board, at the LEP's annual conference which was held on 6th November.

Helen will take up the role of Chair at the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Y&NY LEP) from April 2021.  An experienced non-executive chair and director, Simpson will replace David Kerfoot MBE DL, who’s term of office comes to an end next March. There will be a 5-month transition period before David retires to provide a stable transition in leadership.

Simpson’s role as chair will be to lead the diverse group of board members who represent a wide range of private and public sector businesses and organisations from across the region, and work with partners to engage with government and realise the LEP’s ambitions. Which include the proposed devolution deal negotiations for York and North Yorkshire, enabling it to achieve significant investment and drive the region’s recovery and future growth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Simpson’s non-executive experience follows a senior executive career with BT where she led digital growth businesses and major deals, developed strategy and built commercial partnerships before leading BT’s volunteering programme globally. She currently chairs Broadacres Housing Association, a provider of social housing, extra care and specialist provision in North Yorkshire, Trustees Unlimited, which works to improve charity governance, and serves as a Trustee with St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity in their work with the homeless and vulnerably housed.

Simpson brings expertise in leadership, strategy development, partnerships and collaboration including with government, social housing and charity and community development, as well as a passion for diverse leadership, including helping women leaders to fulfil their potential.

Speaking at the conference, outgoing chair, Kerfoot said: “Helen’s experience and credentials are exactly what is needed for the role. She is passionate about York and North Yorkshire, is a proven leader and has in-depth experience of working with government at the highest level. I am looking forward to working with her over the next few months and I have no doubt that she is an excellent choice to lead the LEP’s vision to build a greener, fairer and stronger economy for the region as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Simpson commented: “I am excited to get involved with the York & North Yorkshire LEP and look forward to meeting the LEP team, partners and businesses across the region as we work together to build the economy. We live in challenging times, so now more than ever, it will be a privilege to champion York and North Yorkshire. I am looking forward to using my skills and experience, with the LEP team, the Board and the public and private sector partners to help make a real difference.”