27 Apr

Andy Reed becomes Interim LLEP Chair after Kevin Harris stands down

Kevin Harris and Andy Reed

The LLEP Board has overseen the official handover of its Chair after the decision by Kevin Harris earlier this month to stand down from the role.

Deputy-Chair Andy Reed OBE was delegated with the authority to serve as interim Chair while the Board makes arrangements for a recruitment exercise for Mr Harris’ permanent successor.

That process will be led by Mr Reed and will commence immediately. The new Chair is expected to be introduced at the annual general meeting on September 28.

Board members thanked Mr Harris for his leadership, later giving authority to the LLEP’s Head of Delivery and Governance to speak with each director to determine their own intentions in relation to renewing their positions.

Mr Harris, a Midlands Engine and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce board member and the current LeicestershireLive Business Executive of the Year, described an eventful four years as Chair with many challenges faced and much to be proud of. 

He thanked LLEP officers and executives for their commitment and fellow Board directors for their backing, praising Mr Reed for his support as Deputy.

Mr Reed, who served as the Member of Parliament for Loughborough between 1997 and 2010, said that supporting economic development in Leicestershire had been one of his main aims after leaving Parliament.

The future of LEPs has been a little uncertain during the pandemic, but now we have guidance from Government and the offer of a County Deal on the table through the Levelling Up agenda.

I hope to be able to offer my 30 years of experience of local economic development reorganisations to find the best solution for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and the people, businesses and charities that make up my home county.

The only way we have ever made progress is by working properly in a collaborative way. That will be my approach over the coming months.

I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with a great team at the LEP and a very supportive Board.

Mr Harris, who is also Leicester managing partner and Regional Accounting Head for RSM UK, 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.