Paul Southworth, Chairman of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) Board and its predecessor organisation, Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited (NEL), has formally announced that he is retiring from the role at the end of March.
Paul has spent almost a decade at NEP and before that NEL, working tirelessly to drive forward Northamptonshire’s economy. Since NEP opened for business in September 2011, the organisation has supported businesses to create 1,657 jobs and secured £14.4 million of investment into the local economy.
A prominent member of the Northamptonshire business community for many years, Paul was previously President and CEO of Northampton based Avon UK. He also chaired the Trustees Board at Northampton Theatres and sat on the Board of the Northamptonshire Arts and Management Trust. Paul currently serves as Director General of the Direct Selling Association.
Paul has guided NEL/NEP through significant milestones including being granted Local Enterprise Partnership status in 2011, securing £47 million of European funding and implementing a £100 million Revolving Infrastructure Fund to help make future development happen.
More recently, Paul has been involved in NEP’s development of its Strategic Economic Plan, which sets out its objectives to 2021. This includes creating a £20 billion local economy and an extra 32,500 jobs, building an additional 37,000 new homes and growing Northamptonshire’s overall economy by 30% – 1% above the UK national average.
"an outstanding contribution to Northamptonshire's economy"
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive, NEP said: “Paul has made an outstanding contribution to Northamptonshire’s economy throughout his career and it is under his expert guidance that NEP has managed to achieve so much - creating local jobs, supporting our businesses and growing the economy.
“Whilst we are losing an exceptional Chairman in Paul, who will be very missed by all of us here at NEP and by everybody that has had the pleasure to work with him, we are very fortunate to have secured John Markham, OBE as our new Chairman. John’s extensive experience in both the private and public sectors will be invaluable as we move forward in finalising and delivering our very ambitious growth plans. ”
John Markham, currently Chairman of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) has been named the new Chair of the NEP board, and will take up the role in April 2014, following the successful closure of WNDC at the end of March.
John was previously Chairman of the Whitehaven Development Company (WDC) – a public/private partnership set up to spearhead the regeneration of the Cumbrian coastal town, leading the organisation for a 10 year period, during which he won a host of regeneration awards. John was awarded the OBE in January 1995 for services to industry in West Cumbria.
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