County LEP board and first project unveiled

Pictured (L-R): Richard Wills, Ursula Lidbetter, David Dexter and Andy Baxendale.

The founding board members of Greater Lincolnshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) were announced at an inaugural meeting on Tuesday, December 7.

The twelve representatives, six from business and six civic leaders from publicly funded organisations, elected a Chair and Vice-Chair during the meeting at the University of Lincoln’s Enterprise@Lincoln building.

Along with 23 other LEPs across the country, the Lincolnshire partnership was established to replace England’s nine regional development agencies.

The LEPs were approved by the Government on October 28 and can bid for cash from a national £1.4billion growth fund, which will be released over three years.

The Lincolnshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership board members are:

  • Chair: Ursula Lidbetter (Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-operative)
  • Vice-Chair: David Dexter (Federation of Small Business)
  • Herman Kok (Chair of Employment & Skills Board and FD of Lindum Group)
  • Chris Baron (Resort Director, Butlins)
  • Neil Corner (Siemens’ Director of Service)
  • Mark Tinsley (Chair of Lincolnshire Forum for Agriculture and Horticulture and director of PC Tinsley)
  • Cllr Eddy Poll (LCC – Executive Portfolio Holder for Economic Development)
  • Cllr Doreen Stephenson (Leader of East Lindsey District Council Districts
  • Professor Andrew Atherton (Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Lincoln)
  • Andy Baxendale (Northern Area Manager for the Environment Agency)
  • Tony Hill (NHS Director of public health and partnerships)
  • Richard Wills (LCC Director for Development/representing the Secretariat)

“We are pleased to have reached the milestone of establishing the board so quickly,” said Andrew Thurston, Head of Enterprise Development at the County Council.

“This means we can get started in preparing funding bids to benefit county projects and bring forward business growth,” Thurston added.

First project focused on Teal Park and Siemens

The first bid from the Lincolnshire LEP is expected in January 2011, and among other purposes, some of this money would be used for transport infrastructure and to facilitate Siemens’s turbine operations move to the upcoming Teal Park.

Siemens in Lincoln said it wants to move its turbine servicing department to purpose-built space at the Teal Park development in North Hykeham.

According to plans, around 540 workers from Siemens’ site in Waterside South on Firth Road would move to premises yet to be built at Teal Park.

Siemens saw its unit orders double in the financial year 2009-10 compared with the same period in 2008-09, which is a record for the Lincoln site.

Neil Corner, Siemens’ Director of Service, is on the Lincolnshire LEP board.

Lincolnshire LEP Vice-Chair David Dexter said: “It will be a mixture of funds, from the private sector, the County Council, and the regional development fund.

“It’s not entirely funded by the [Government] fund, it’s a mixture. That’s what LEP is all about, bringing together the private sector and public sector.”

Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Lincolnshire LEP said the partnership also has other plans for the county, which are in development stages at the moment.

“We’re not just thinking about the obvious factories and offices. We’re also thinking about opportunities to use our natural environment for economic and social benefit.

“We’re keen to establish good relationships across the county and beyond and look forward to working with all local organisations which share our passion for the success of Lincolnshire.”