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LEP event

About the Local Enterprise Partnership

Our role

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) role is to secure the region’s continued economic success by promoting an environment where businesses thrive and healthy and productive communities grow in a sustainable way. We work with Government to promote and champion the economic success of the region and support the attraction of new inward investment.

We shape regional policy to ensure residents have the right skills and can benefit from the region’s success and we support business growth by working to attract new jobs to Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding areas. The board’s business members are influential leaders with valuable industry knowledge and expertise to help advise both within the region and beyond. The West of England offers excellent quality of life and has a growing national and international profile. It’s a great place to live and work and, as a partnership between business and local authorities, we are making it a better one.

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The LEP Board

LEP Chair Richard Bonner
Richard is the UK Market Director for Buildings and Places at Atkins. As a Chartered Civil Engineer, he has a background in programmes, design and consultancy. An accomplished business leader, proven record of delivering P&L performance, growth and operational excellence, strategic planning and execution. Deep understanding of the economic drivers and systems leadership of Place. Richard an experienced Non Exec Director and Chair, and is the Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, past president of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce (Business West), and a member of the Western Gateway Partnership Board.
View Richard's Register of Interest
Stephen Peacock
Chief Executive Stephen Peacock
Stephen was previously the Chief Executive of Bristol City Council having previously been the council’s Executive Director for Growth and Regeneration. His achievements include the City Leap decarbonisation project, Temple Quarter regeneration and the council’s house building programme.

Board member profiles

Our board members come from a diverse array of professional backgrounds. They apply their diverse experiences and perspectives to relevant sectors across the West of England. Board member Neil Douglas is specifically responsible for representing and engaging with the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) business community.

Vice Chair Professor Sue Rigby
Professor Sue Rigby is the Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University. Sue began her role as Vice-Chancellor in January 2018. She was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Development at the University of Lincoln. In this role, she supported the student journey from application to alumni and oversaw the Colleges of Science and Arts. Sue is a palaeontologist by background and was an academic at the universities of Cambridge, Leicester, and Edinburgh. She later moved into senior management, first as Assistant Principal and then Vice Principal at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Sue is currently an Executive Member of the MillionPlus group (The Association for Modern Universities). She is Chair of Student Minds (a Student Mental Health Charity) and a board member of the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency). Sue is also Chair of the QAA Credit Framework Group. She was recently Chair of the Natural Sciences TEF Pilot Panel and Chair of the Learning Gain Steering Group for Office for Students. Sue led the Inclusive Development strand of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group. She also led the work undertaken by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to define information needs for taught postgraduate students. This work has since been formalised into national policy, affecting all UK universities and many higher education colleges.
View Sue's Register of Interest
Christopher Grier
Christopher Grier is Vice President, Head of Procurement Landing Gear, Fuel Systems and Power on Board Procurement at Airbus. Having graduated in Mechanical Engineering, he started his career with BAE SYSTEMS in Prestwick. He transferred to Airbus in Filton in 2004. Christopher has held leadership roles at Airbus within its programmes team. These roles have focused on wing development for A400M and A350XWB aircrafts.
View Christopher's Register of Interest
David Brown OBE
David joined The Bristol Port Company in October 2008 as Operations Director. In 2016, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his roles with The Bristol Port Company, he spent 24 years serving in the British Army. During this time, he was involved in several operational deployments. In 2007, this culminated in him commanding a battalion in Afghanistan.
View David's Register of Interest
Joanne Rumley
Joanne is a partner at Foot Anstey LLP, specialising in advising businesses and stakeholders affected by financial distress. Since 2001, she has worked with many businesses across the region. She also works nationally in the financial services, construction, and retail sectors. Her role is focused on opportunities for turnaround, preservation of employment, and building sustainable growth. It also involves managing formal insolvency processes. She provides board-level advice concerning the duties and responsibilities of directors in financial difficulty. Joanne has served on several voluntary boards and is currently a board member of both the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association and the Turnaround Management Association. She has also served on the Law Society National Equality and Diversity Committee. Joanne has spent many years in governance for primary schools in both Bristol and South Gloucestershire, focusing on vulnerable children and raising aspirations.
View Joanne's Register of interest
Margot Day
Margot is the Global General Counsel for Arup. Arup is a British multinational professional services firm headquartered in London which provides design, engineering, architecture, planning, and advisory services across every aspect of the built environment. Arup has more than 16,000 staff in over 90 offices across 35 countries around the world. Margot works out of Bristol and London as a senior solicitor, and has worked in the Southwest region since 2004. She worked for Osborne Clarke before moving in-house to work with Hyder PLC, and later becoming a partner in Arcadis LLP. Margot grew up in London and graduated with a law degree from University College London (UCL). She has held many senior management positions, acting as part of several UK boards. Margot values equality, diversity, and inclusion agendas – both inside and outside of work. She is a community governor at St Mary Redcliffe Primary School, and lives with her husband and two sons in Bristol.
View Margot's Register of Interest
Neil Douglas
Neil has lived and worked in North Somerset for most of his life. In 1984, he graduated from Bristol University in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In 1991, he obtained a Masters in Subsea Engineering from Cranfield University. Neil worked for an international corporation for 23 years in various engineering and management positions until 2007. Along with co-director Max Nodder, he then established Viper Subsea. This company specialised in technology development and integrity management of subsea located controls equipment. Head-quartered in Portishead, Viper Subsea became Viper Innovations as the business diversified. Neil received the Institute of Directors’ South West Director of the Year Award in 2011. He also sits on the Board of LiveWire Innovation Inc., a Utah-based technology company. Neil is a nominated SME representative on the LEP Board.
View Neil's Register of Interest
Nigel Costley
Nigel Costley has been the Regional Secretary of the South West TUC since 1996. This involves representing the TUC and the trade union movement, promoting TUC campaigns and supporting the work of individual unions. Nigel took up a number of part-time and distance learning courses leading to a Master of Science degree in Training and Human Resource Management with Leicester University and more recently obtaining his PhD with University of the West of England. Nigel has always campaigned for equal rights and opportunities. He was founder and Vice-Chair of Equality South West an umbrella body to champion equal opportunities. He has been a leading figure in pressing the case for improved support for migrant workers in the region and chaired the regional Migrant Workers Forum. Passionate about social history, Nigel is the author of a book called West Country Rebels and a book on the 1913 China Clay Strike in Cornwall.
View Nigel's Register of Interest
Ruth Jefferson
Ruth is the Chief Compliance Officer and Group General Counsel for Wessex Water. Ruth joined Wessex Water in 2016 after a legal career in London and Bristol specialising in competition law issues across a broad range of sectors and clients. Ruth has wide experience of legal and governance matters and has overall responsibility for compliance and group services. Ruth was appointed to the board of Wessex Water Services Limited in September 2022. Ruth is also a Board member of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and Bath Festivals.
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Cllr Kevin Guy
Kevin Guy became the Bath & North East Somerset Council Council Leader in May 2021. He’s the Liberal Democrat Group Leader and currently works as a director of Newleaf Farm Ltd based in Bathampton. Kevin spent seven years serving in the Royal Navy, taking part in multiple front line operations and also served as a member of NATO Naval Intelligence. After his military career he served as a local borough and parish councillor in his home town in Shropshire, while also lecturing at Stourbridge College.
View Kevin's Register of interest
Leader of North Somerset Council Cllr Mike Bell
Mike Bell is Leader of North Somerset Council
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Clare Young
Cllr Claire Young
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees
Marvin was born and raised in Bristol, and lived in St Paul’s, Lawrence Weston, and Easton. He graduated from the University of Swansea and Eastern University, Pennsylvania. Marvin began working for faith-based youth charities, which led him to set up his own enterprise in 2012. His City Leadership Programme invests in personal development, leadership skills, and life planning for high-ability, aspirational young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. His lifelong passion for speaking up for those whose voices are not heard led Marvin to journalism. He began with a role at the BBC as a broadcast journalist. After leaving the BBC to pursue other opportunities, Marvin joined the NHS in 2008. He managed the Delivering Race Equality in Mental Healthcare action plan for Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset. Later, he progressed to planning and supporting the development of strategic collaborations between city and regional partners and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust. Marvin joined the Labour Party’s Future Candidates Programme in 2011. This gave him the necessary skills to be a strong and committed representative. Marvin is married to Kirsten, a Pilates instructor. They have three children; a daughter, Eden, and two boys, Caleb and Levi. His priority is tackling Bristol’s housing crisis. He seeks to build more homes and free up land for development. Marvin aims to protect private tenants by encouraging them to sign up to a charter for ethical lettings. He also plans to tackle issues relating to transport, the environment, health and well-being, social immobility, the economy, education, and skills. Bristol City Council – Register of Interest
View Marvin's Register of Interest
Metro Mayor Dan Norris
Dan Norris is the Metro Mayor for the West of England. Dan was elected in May 2021. He previously worked across the area as an NSPCC trained child protection officer and local MP as well as running his own businesses.
View Dan's Register of Interest