In October 2010 the Government announced that Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent's bid for a Local Enterprise Partnership had been successful.
Since this new business promotion partnership has been formed we have provided a solid local focus for economic regeneration, represented local businesses in pushing for a better business deal for the area, and worked with neighbouring partnerships when there is a clear mutual benefit and everyone gains.
As we have grown we have forged partnerships between business, the public sector, higher and further education, community enterprises and other partners to deliver economic success.
In 2011/12 the LEP has helped 7 businesses formulate successful bids for the first and second round of regional growth fund worth over £15million. We are continuing to provide ongoing support to businesses looking to submit a bid in the third round of the regional growth fund.
The LEP continues to lobby Government and other organisations to secure funding and improve access to finance for businesses in the region to generate jobs and prosperity and to help maintain our position as one of the top job creators in the UK. We have managed to secure £7.4m from Government, to help better connect business by improving broadband infrastructure in the region. In Co-operation with the Princes' Charities we have secured a further £10million of investment.
We listened to business when they told us they wanted a clear route to business information and support when we created the Stoke Staffordshire Business Helpline. The Helpline simplifies the process of seeking advice for businesses by creating one point of contact instead of many.
In order to continue to streamline the process of business development we also created a single investment team for the whole of the LEP area, Make it Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire - www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk.
Meet the Board Members who are driving the partnership forward:
Born into a mining family in Northumberland, Councillor Adamson moved to Cannock when the pits closed in the North East.
Councillor Adamson worked in the Black Country & Staffordshire, first of all for the Department of Work & Pensions and thereafter as a Police Officer based in Walsall.
In 2010 Councillor Adamson was elected to Cannock Chase Council, representing Labour in the Hednesford Green Heath ward. He became Leader of the Council following local government elections in May 2011, passionate about housing and economic regeneration.
Outside of Council life Councillor Adamson has a keen interest in music, singing in choirs.
Philip has been a member of Staffordshire County Council since 1987 and Leader since 2009. He is also a member of East Staffordshire Borough Council where he was Deputy Leader from 2003-2008.
He became chairman of West Midlands Councils in 2010.
Philip represents the remarkably economically diverse division in Staffordshire because it is largely rural but contains the world headquarters of JCB, one of the UK's leading manufacturing exporters and a brand that is known around the world.
The need to reinvigorate the "wealth creators" in the economy is a key theme of much of Philip's work. This includes transforming training and developing hi-tech and sustainable industries linked to outstanding research and development.
Philip is a farmer, and balances his public duties with running a demanding business.
He blogs at: http://staffscc.net/leadersblog/
Nick joined Staffordshire County Council on 19 April, 2010 as Chief Executive, where he is working to make Staffordshire a recognised excellent authority on the national stage through focusing on innovation and championing the needs of the customer.
He joined Staffordshire from Essex County Council where he was the Executive Director for Finance and Deputy Chief Executive with responsibility for cross council Finance, Procurement, IT and Property as well as leading the EssexWorks: Customers First change programme.
Nick is a CIPFA qualified accountant and has worked in Local Government for the past 18 years working in organisations such as Cambridgeshire County Council, Bedfordshire County Council and Westminster City Council. At Westminster he held the position of Director of Finance and Resources and led their transformation and modernisation programme.
Councillor Eddie Boden has served some 40 plus years as an Elected Member:
Eddie has served as Leader of Newcastle Borough Council for 9 years; has been a Borough Councillor for 23 years; served on Staffordshire County Council for 16 years, 2 of which he was the Chair, and has represented his village of Audley as a Parish Councillor for 17 years and served as Chair twice. He currently represents Chesterton on Newcastle Borough Council and is the authority’s Deputy Leader.
Councillor Eddie Boden was instrumental in the launch of Aspire in 2000 when, as the Leader of Newcastle Borough Council, the decision was taken to transfer the authority’s housing stock to the new company.
Eddie’s key role in that momentous decision was a fitting testament to his personal commitment to social housing – and to public service more generally.
John also takes an interest in Energy and Low Carbon affairs for the Partnership.
John is a Carbon and Energy professional with Business and Industrial Process Improvement experience with skills gained working in numerous sectors including Aerospace, Automotive, the Ceramic Industries, Green Energy and Waste Management.
After graduating with BSc Hons in Applied Physics and Material Science, John initially worked on the development of Airbus Aircraft at British Aerospace. In 1989 he took up a position with Michelin and worked there for 12 years in a range of capacities from manufacturing, product development to Industrial Engineering.
In 2001 John joined Ceram Research where he operationally lead the MSG, Manufacturing Support Group, undertaking a range of projects from international work with IKEA factory start-ups to in the UK being an active deliverer of MAS improvement activities.
John joined Wardell-Armstrong in 2007 and over the 5 years with them was involved with numerous renewable energy, waste technology and Carbon related projects. In early 2012 he became a Director at Barrington Engineering Ltd, and Director at the new start-up business Global Air Projects Ltd. These businesses are well established offering bespoke engineering design, manufacturing and installation services for a varied business to business client base.
Richard has been General Manager at Perkins Engines Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc, since 2009 where he is directly responsible for the Large Engines Business which supplies diesel and gas engines (9 to 64 litres) for electric power generation. His business employs over 800 people across operations, product development, engineering, supply chain. purchasing and commercial functions and manufactures over 20,000 a year supplying customers across the world.
Richard first started out with Caterpillar Inc in 1997 and has undertaken a number of roles including purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing and prior to taking on his current role he was Vice President Commercial EAME at Caterpillar Logistics. Whilst there he was responsible for business development and the direct management of third party logistics contracts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 2005 - 2009. Before taking on this role he had been General Manager at Caterpillar Logistics.
Richard has also worked in the defence and telecoms sectors and prior to joining Caterpillar was a consultant with Coopers and Lybrand focussed on the utilities and transport sectors.
He has an extensive global background in operations, supply chain, product and business development and in his current role has responsibility for a green field start up in India.
Kerry Diamond leads the Funding Sub-Group for the Partnership.
Kerry Diamond has working in manufacturing for 30 years and is now CFO of the Zytek Group based in Lichfield.
Starting as a graduate Trainee for Metal Box in Reading in 1979 Kerry worked in packaging at DRG, Bowater and Rexam plc in North Wales and Herefordshire. She qualified as a Chartered Management accountant in 1983 and gained experience in start up operations, restructuring and Grant applications over her time in the sector. A key member of Rexam’s strategic group she was involved a number of restructuring and cost reduction projects across the rigid and flexible packaging cluster including the introduction of new business reporting systems. She moved to the automotive sector joining Continental the German automotive components manufacturer in South Wales in 1996. Implementation of business systems and process improvements were the main focus. An opportunity to lead a new initiative on improving financial processes worldwide in 2005 was followed by an invitation to move to Belgium on a strategic project whilst working on the transfer of the South Wales plant to Slovakia.
More recently Kerry joined Zytek originally to assist with the Joint Venture integration post acquisition by Continental in early 2008 and then as CFO of the group. Zytek is at the forefront of engineering control systems and drive trains, working closely with major Automotive manufacturers in Europe on Electric vehicles and associated R&D
Born in Chester and now living in Hereford, Kerry has a BSc Joint Hons in Economics and International Politics from Aberystwyth University, is a qualified accountant, has an MBA from the Open University and has recently completed 6 years as a member of the Welsh Investment and Development Advisory Board reviewing applications for State Aid from a wide range of sectors.
Kerry is married to Ian and enjoys Cross Country skiing, hiking and has a keen interest in the history of the First World War
Ron Dougan is the Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Ron has been CEO of Trent & Dove Housing in East Staffordshire since its inception in 2001. From setting up Trent & Dove from scratch to take on the transfer of over 5,000 council owned homes, he has helped develop it into one of the Country’s top performing housing associations, winning numerous local, regional and national awards for leadership, excellence and regeneration.
Ron holds degrees in housing and management studies, a Masters in organisational leadership and is currently carrying out doctoral research on leadership at Derby University. He holds a variety of positions within the housing and University sectors and is President Designate of Burton Chamber of Commerce.
Ron has lived and worked in Staffordshire for nearly 20 years with his wife and twin sons.
Mike Heenan is Leader of Stafford Borough Council and a Chartered Accountant practising in Stafford. He is a former President of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and Staffs, Salop and Wolverhampton Society of Chartered Accountants. A former Chairman of Staffordshie Business Link he has over 30 years experience of advising small businesses. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of a property investment company and Trustee for a number of charities.
Mark Kerrigan leads the Branding and Communications Sub-Group for the Partnership.
Alton Towers Resort is the UK's leading Theme Park Resort attracting over 2.5million visitors annually to its scenic surroundings in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Mark Kerrigan, Operations and Development Director, has worked here for 17 years in a variety of roles and is now responsible for the largest area, encompassing everything from ride operation, security, medical and entertainments, to the long term development and future plans of the Resort.
Judith Kirkland is the shadow lead of the Skills Sub-Group and acts as an alternate for Ken Stepney. Judith also takes an interest in Third Sector affairs for the Partnership.
Judith has over 27 years experience in the enterprise arena. Having worked in the Public, Private and Social Enterprise sectors, she has a wealth of experience of policy making, developing strategy and operational delivery. Judith is currently CEO of Business Enterprise Support, Director at National Enterprise Network and Director at Women's Development Network.
Adrian MacLaughlin takes an interest in Broadband affairs for the Partnership.
Adrian MacLaughlin setup his own computer company when he left university and his since won contracts from other businesses around the world. He also developed and continues to run Dunston Business Village, a highly successful business park.
Mark Meredith is the Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor and Cabinet member with responsibility for Economic Development, Culture and Sport. Mark’s main emphasis is to attract inward investment and support existing business to safeguard existing and deliver new jobs in the city as part of the council’s Mandate for Change.
Born in the city Mark was the second and last directly elected mayor of Stoke-on-Trent. He was elected on 5 May 2005, for the Labour Party. He remained in office until the post was abolished in June 2009.
A member of the Labour Party since 1982, Mark held posts at various levels of the party including time as a member of the national committee, representing the West Midlands, of the Labour Party's youth section and Editor of the party’s youth journal. He became secretary of the party’s Local Government Committee in Stoke in 2003.
During his time in mayoral office he concentrated much of his efforts to bringing the City Council's long-term financial deficits under control and in 2006 established and became the first Chairman of the North Staffs Regeneration Partnership (NSRP). He also championed the transformation of Stoke’s education service with the introduction of City Academies.
In July 2007 he formed a de-facto executive model for Stoke-on-Trent City Council of Mayor and Cabinet in all but name. This first move away from the Mayor and Council Manager model (the only one of its kind in England) was generally welcomed by most political groups represented on the Council. The Council Executive included representatives from all three main political parties.
As local businessman in the Stoke-on-Trent since 1991 owning a window blind and security shutter company was awarded Franchisee of the Year Award in 2002. He then went on to become a national finalist in the Daily Mail’s UK Franchisee of the Year. He was also Chapter Director of Business Network International and became Chairman of the City Centre Partnership in 2005.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas and research fellowship seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.
Kevin Oakes takes an interst in Ceramics affairs for the Partnership.
Having first started employment with Steelite International in 1977 Kevin became Chief Executive following a secondary management buy-out in 2006, having been part of the original MBO team in 2002.
Kevin is Chairman of both the British Ceramic Gift and Tableware Manufacturers Association (BCGTMA) and the British Pottery Manufacturers Federation (BPMF). He is also a board member of both the Ceramic Industry Forum (CIF) and the British Ceramic Confederation (BCC)
Sean Parry leads the Business Development Sub-Group for the Partnership.
Sean Parry is the Michelin Factory Manager in Stoke on Trent. Sean has worked for Michelin since 2004 initially in a European financial shared service centre before moving into manufacturing operations in 2008 and taking responsibility for the factory in 2011.
Michelin has a long history of active involvement with the local communities around their sites and will be working with the Local Enterprise Partnership to promote Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent and contribute to the economic development of the region.
Pervez was born in Walsall, West Midlands in 1967. He is married with 2 children and moved to Stoke-on-Trent in 1991. He graduated in Biological Chemistry from Leicester University and is currently employed in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the Research & Development field as Senior Scientist. He has spent the last 16 years serving his local community as well as the wider community of Stoke-on-Trent. He is also currently an IDeA Peer. As well as carrying out his important role as a Senior Scientist, Pervez has many other roles:
Previously Held Community Positions
Executive Member of a number of community organisations.
Chairperson of Grange Residents' Association.
Vice-Chairperson of the Home office funded Policing Priority Area Initiative.
Served on the Independent Advisory Panel (Police).
Roles since becoming a Local Councillor
Elected as Labour Councillor in May 2006.
Held portfolio responsibilities for Community Services and Housing and Community Engagement and Equalities.
Took up the position as Deputy Elected Mayor in June 2008.
Became Leader of the Labour Group May 2009.
Elected as Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council in May 2010.
Ken Stepney leads the Skills Sub-Group for the Partnership. Ken also takes an interest in Third sector affairs for the Partnership.
Ken's background is rooted in engineering. As his career progressed he gravitated into general management within the civil engineering plant sector and currently heads up People Development for the JCB group.
He is a Governor of Burton College also a director of the B2Gether Organisation and is past chairman of the Princes Trust in Staffordshire. He sits on the management board for the Setpoint schools organisation in Staffordshire. He has various other interests in the business environment particularly in the arena of coaching and emotional intelligence development. Ken is married with two adult children and lives in Stafford Town.
Jenny Tucker leads on the future vision for the Partnership.
Jenny is the Director for the Directorate of Commercial & Business Engagement at Keele University. She is also a director of the joint venture, Keele Park Developments Ltd (KPD Ltd), and a Board member of Keele University Science and Business Park Ltd (KUSBP Ltd).
She is responsible for the University’s commercial strategy and for engagement with strategic partners, business and industry at a regional and national level. Jenny is leading the University’s strategy for investment and development in Keele University Science & Business Park through inward investment channels, via developing and building on partnerships with the Local Enterprise Partnership, Staffordshire County and Stoke City Councils. This involves the continued development of industry links, through business support, supporting high growth businesses and Keele University’s own Research & Enterprise team to broker relationships.
The links that have been developed with Keele’s external partners place Jenny in the ideal position to take the roles of strategic director for the BIG (Bringing Innovation & Growth – partnership with Staffordshire University and North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry), and Keele University’s Science & Business Park.
Before joining the University Jenny worked for the Industrial Society and Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Jenny’s passion is for creating commercially-astute strategies that drive organisations far beyond what is expected or anticipated. She brings a wealth of experience, particularly in corporate strategy, funding, business planning and marketing strategy. Jenny is a Life Member of the Institute of Directors.
John van de Laarschot became chief executive of Stoke-on-Trent City Council in January 2010 following a career which has seen him work around the globe in several prominent positions across the public and private sectors for major organisations including Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
His first move to the public sector came in 2005 with his appointment as chief executive of Torridge District Council; an organisation rated as 'poor' by the Audit Commission in October 2003 but rebuilt under John's leadership improving their reputation and profile at a regional and national level.
John joined Stoke-on-Trent City Council as chief executive in October 2009 on a part time basis until taking over full time at the start of January 2010. Since joining, John has worked with politicians and officers to improve the authority's performance as well as securing a cohesive vision for the city and helping to build relations with Staffordshire County Council and other neighbouring authorities.
Under John's guidance, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has initiated a comprehensive transformation plan and supported members with the formation of a Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Mike is originally from Swansea and moved to Fradley, Lichfield District in 2000. He has been a Conservative district councillor since 2007 for the Alrewas & Fradley ward.
Mike served as Chairman of Fradley and Streethay Parish Council until he took on the role of Leader of Lichfield District Council in 2010. Mike is also the Cabinet Member for Finance Revenues and Benefits, and heads up the district council’s regeneration and development programme, Lichfield Venture.
Outside of the council, Mike is the Chairman of the Lichfield District Board and is a trustee of the newly formed Lichfield Garrick trust. Mike is also on the board of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and on the West Midlands Councils’ Leaders Board.
Mike still serves as a parish councillor and is also a warden at St Stephen’s Church in Fradley.
In his day job, Mike is the manager of HSBC’s Dudley branch, and is married to Sonia, who is a Senior Premier Banking Manager at HSBC in Derby. Sonia and Mike have three grown up children. In his spare time, Mike enjoys playing football in a Sunday league in Lichfield, gardening and watching Rugby Union.
Our Associate Members provide support for our Board Members as well as broaden the partnerships business knowledge. Many of the Associate Members shadow the members of the Board to ensure that we have strong private sector representation at all board meetings.
Stuart Adams takes an interest in Ceramic affairs for the Partnership. Stuart also acts as an alternate for Kevin Oakes.
Stuart is currently serving as a board member for Endeka Ceramics Ltd. He also has had a variety of responsibilities in several manufacturing industries at senior Production Management, Director, General Management and Managing Director level.
Jonathan Dale is the shadow lead for the Businesses Development Sub-Group and acts as an alternate for Sean Parry.
Jonathan Dale is currently Commercial Director Longton Avia (UK) Ltd. Prior to this Jonathan worked at Castle Cement Ltd from 1976 - 1995 in a range of roles at Director and General Manager levels. Recently his experience has also included freelance provision of international management, marketing and logistical resources for local and international businesses .
Ian Jenkinson is a part of the Ambassador Group which is responsible for helping the LEP to forge influential contacts in the private and public sector.
Ian is a Chartered Engineer with a long experience of major infrastructure projects and liaison with government, industry and the public. He is currently working as an associate with Stillwell Partnership, a firm of consulting engineers. Prior to this Ian was Corporate Director of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and also served as interim chief executive.
Paul Richards leads the Inward Investment Sub-Group for the Partnership.
Paul Richards is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University. He is responsible for the University’s engagement with its local communities in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire and for its working relationships with business, industry and the voluntary sector. He leads the University’s commercial strategy, its international and partnership work and its approach to innovation, enterprise and regional impact.
He is committed to linking the University’s capability to the skills and knowledge needs of businesses and individuals. The University now has an established reputation as a driver of change in the local economy and community and is investing to strengthen this.
Paul is leading the University’s investment programme in Stoke-on-Trent and its commitment to the ground breaking partnership, known as the University Quarter, which will transform the University, the City Centre and the skills base and educational aspirations of the area. It is a major regeneration programme and Paul chairs the partnership, involving Stoke on Trent City Council, Stoke on Trent College, Stoke on Trent 6th Form College and the local community, which is delivering the vision.
Paul is a Board member of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and chairs its inward investment committee.
Paul has spent much of his career in regeneration and economic development. Before joining the University, he was Chief Executive of West Midlands Development Agency and until 1992, he was Marketing Director at Yorkshire and Humberside Development Agency.
He started his working life in the shipping industry and has a background in business development and international trade and has worked with companies from Europe, the Asia Pacific Region and North America.
Jeremy Mellor is the shadow lead for the Sites and Infrastructure Sub-Group and acts as an alternate for Ron Dougan.
Jeremy has 31 years experience working for various building contractors and private quantity surveying/architectural practices. Jeremy is currently at Wood Goldstraw Yorath LLP, which he joined in 1999, he has been a partner in the organisation since 2001 and heads up the Quantity Surveying Team.
Geoff Riley takes an interest in Supply Chains and Export affairs for the Partnership. He also acts as an alternate for Richard Cotterell.
Geoff Riley is Chief Executive of Staffordshire & Black Country Business Innovation Centre (BIC). He also has worked in education as a lecturer before progressing to become Head of Commercial Development at Newcastle-under-Lyme Collage and then Projects Director for the Consortium of Staffordshire Collages. Geoff also has significant private sector experience where he has a background in electrical and electronic engineering in the Electrical Supply Industry and Michelin Tyre Plc and has held senior positions in both SMEs and Public Sector organisations.
John occupied numerous posts with BT plc before becoming Head of Training and Development for BT group in 1992. He left BT plc in 1994 to form Kapability Consultants Ltd which John wound up in 2009 and set up Kapability Associates, John also maintains a non-executive role in Kapability Hungary kft.
Marie Stevens is the shadow lead for the Marketing Sub-Group and acts as an alternate for Mark Kerrigan. Marie also takes an interest in Rural affairs for the Partnership.
Marie currently owns and operates the award winning Burnt Gate at Anslow, Burton on Trent. The Burnt Gate at Anslow is an SME in food and drink which has operated as a privately owned public house and restaurant for the past 17 years.
Richard Ward is a part of the Ambassador Group which is responsible for helping the LEP to forge influential contacts in the private and public sector.
Richard Ward is a widely experienced Chief Executive and Chairman in managing, and working with, both the public and private sectors and is passionate about regeneration, innovation and quality of service. He is currently Group Chairman of Vistage International and serves on a variety of boards related to business in Staffordshire and the West Midlands
Want to find out more about how the LEP was formed and how it will help the region?
Download the letter from the Local Government Minister Eric Pickles and a statement from Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council:
Letter from Eric Pickles (PDF 237Kb)
Read the partnership's published proposals (informed by discussions with business leaders) upon which Government made their decision: