4 Apr

LLEP Chair will not seek re-election at end of current term

Kevin Harris is Chair of the LLEP Board

The Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has told directors and officers that he will not seek re-election at the end of his current term.

LLEP Chair to stand down as Kevin Harris paid tribute to work completed by colleagues during his four years as Chair as he informed them that he would stand down when his current term ends this month.

Mr Harris’ final LLEP Board meeting as Chair is on April 12. He has Chaired the LLEP since 2018, having spent the prior four years as Deputy Chair.

His time as Chair coincided with delivery of a host of major strategic projects. These include the further development of regional enterprise zones, including Space Park Leicester and the ongoing Pavilion 4 at Sport Park on the LUSEP campus.

Mr Harris also led the LLEP’s role in the successful East Midlands Freeport bid, as well as its response to both the Pandemic and the Government’s recent Levelling Up White Paper.

Mr Harris said he was proud that the decision at the time to move ahead with many of the initiatives originally incorporated into the Local Industrial Strategy and now part of the recently developed LLEP Economic Growth Strategy was paying dividends. Both pieces of work were produced despite increasing uncertainty in the external environment.

Mr Harris said:

Developing the Local Industrial Strategy was an important stage for the LLEP in enabling us to focus on our strengths and what makes us unique.

It framed our thinking for the Economic Growth Strategy in terms of how and where we can build a post-Pandemic future which is innovative, inclusive, productive and sustainable.

There’s undoubtedly lots of change still to come. We recognise that and remain bold in shaping our response to the future.

But I’m proud that the LLEP is well set up to meet the challenges and the end of this current term therefore feels a natural point to hand the baton on to a new Chair.

Mr Harris will remain on the LLEP Board until the AGM, likely to take place in October, as he seeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Subject to Board agreement on April 12, LLEP Vice-Chair Andy Reed OBE will serve as interim Chair until the AGM and the appointment of a permanent replacement.

Mr Reed said:

Kevin has chaired the LLEP with huge commitment and focus during a challenging period of continual change. He is right to draw attention to the ongoing importance of the Industrial Strategy he helped to drive forward.

The national conversation continues around the role of LEPs, in relation to County Deals and the wider Levelling Up agenda, and I look forward to working with local partners on that through to October.

In the meantime, it’s an appropriate time to reiterate our appreciation of Kevin and the LLEP team for all they have done already.

The LLEP has invested more than £500m in Leicester and Leicestershire since incorporation in 2011, creating more than 6,900 jobs in the process.

In December, Mr Harris led the launch of the Economic Growth Strategy – a key strategic document which focuses on innovation, productivity, sustainability and inclusivity in the years through to 2030.

As well as his work with the LLEP, Mr Harris is a board member of the Midlands Engine and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. He is also Leicester managing partner and Regional Accounting Head for RSM UK.

In 2021 he was named Non-Executive of the Year at the LeicestershireLive Business Executive of the Year awards.

Read the LLEP's Economic Growth Strategy 2021-30