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SEMLEP Chair Appointed

7 September 2011

Issue Date: 7/09/2011

SEMLEP South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased to announce that Dr. Ann Limb OBE DL has been appointed as Chair effective 30th September 2011.

After an extensive and high profile recruitment process SEMLEP is pleased to have attracted a prominent local business leader to chair the Board and to take SEMLEP forward in its role to deliver sustainable economic growth across the area.

Rod J Calvert OBE who led the SEMLEP Nominations Committee said that, “ SEMLEP were impressed by Ann’s leadership abilities and successful track record of effective partnership working across business and the public sector. Ann is a well-regarded leader locally and nationally as well as a successful social entrepreneur and a significantly experienced chair. She undertakes a range of private sector work particularly in the manufacturing, technology and national security fields. This experience will be invaluable in driving SEMLEP forward.”

Ann Limb is currently a non-executive director of Milton Keynes based company DRS Data Research and Services plc, a global leader in scanning technologies that enable the electronic capture of data in examinations, census and elections. She also holds directorships of two other enterprises in the SE Midlands area - briteyellow, an innovative, super fast wireless broadband provider and Skills2Learn, an award-winning company that develops e-learning, virtual reality, and creative multimedia solutions. Ann has also founded two successful social enterprises - the Women Leadership Network and the Helena Kennedy Foundation.

Former Group Chief Executive and main board director of the University for Industry (Ufi Ltd), Ann was responsible for the successful implementation of the UK government’s flagship e-learning initiative learndirect and oversaw its development together with the other nationwide e-services UK on line and Directgov. Ann features amongst the top UK executives in the innovative 50 LES50NS portfolio and is a past President of the Cambridge Chartered Management Institute. She was finalist in the Cambridgeshire Businesswoman of the Year in 2000 and currently sits on the National Council of the Institute of Directors.

From 2004 to 2010, she was Senior Vice President for the international strategic management consultancy Citizen Service Transformation as well as working as an adviser to governments both in the UK and overseas. Ann worked with the current Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg when he was an MEP and sat as an independent educationalist on the Education Committee of David Cameron’s Public Services Improvement Policy Group. She was a member of the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s Digital Inclusion Panel.

In the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, Ann was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and is Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Buckinghamshire, where she has lived since 1986.

Commenting on the appointment Brian Hibbert CBE, Interim Chair of SEMLEP said, “I have had the privilege of leading the Interim SEMLEP Board from the beginning and am proud of what the great cooperation between the private and public sectors has achieved. Now is the time to press the accelerator and move forwards from the strong foundations laid. I am confident that Ann has the experience and drive rapidly to establish SEMLEP as one of the leading economic powerhouses of the country.”

“I am thrilled to have been selected for this exciting and challenging position,” stated Ann on learning of her successful application, “The Coalition Government’s determination to devolve much of the local economic strategy and growth agenda to the LEPs presents a once in a generation opportunity really to make a difference. It is an honour to have been offered the opportunity to lead a dynamic board to maximise the potential of SEMLEP.”


Notes to Editors

With its 1.891m population the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) is the 7th largest of 34 Government approved LEPs. Based on the four large conurbations of Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes and Northampton it differs from all but one of the larger LEPs which are City region based. SEMLEP incorporates a number of high value clusters including advanced technology/precision engineering; creative industries; life sciences/biotech; and finance/businesses services.

The clusters are supported by excellent education establishments including Cranfield University, University Of Bedfordshire, University Centre Milton Keynes, University of Northampton, University of Buckingham and the Open University. Good road, rail, and air transport networks bring SEMLEP within 2 hours reach of 35million of the UK’s population as well as many European capital cities.

SEMLEP is targeting jobs growth by focussing on generating/supporting start up businesses; expansion of high growth businesses; and attracting new businesses into the area (including foreign direct investment). SEMLEP is engaging with central Government on urgent issues associated with transport and infrastructure which are affecting short-term job growth in the area.

The Local Authority Partners in SEMLEP are Aylesbury Vale District Council, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Council, Cherwell District Council, Corby Borough Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Daventry District Council, Kettering Borough Council, Luton Borough Council, Milton Keynes Council, Northampton Borough Council and South Northamptonshire Council.

The Business Organisation Partners are Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, North Bucks Federation of Small Businesses, Northamptonshire Federation of Small Businesses, Hertfordshire Institute of Directors, Milton Keynes Institute of Directors and Bedford Business Group.

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