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Peter Horrocks CBE appointed Chair of Local Enterprise Partnership

27 February 2019

SEMLEP, the public-private organisation responsible for steering government investment and promoting local sustainable growth in the South East Midlands has today, 27 February, confirmed Peter Horrocks as new Chair to lead the economic vision for the South East Midlands.

Peter Horrocks CBE was Vice-Chancellor of The Open University from 2015 until April 2018, and university representative on the SEMLEP Board during this time. Prior to joining the OU, Peter was Director of the BBC World Service.

Mary Clarke, SEMLEP’s Board member who led the chair recruitment panel said: “We are delighted to appoint Peter as our new Chair of SEMLEP. Peter’s strong strategic leadership qualities, alongside his political and commercial acumen made him an outstanding candidate for this role. 

“Peter joins us at an important time for our regional economy. As we continue to prepare for EU exit, our priority is to bring together businesses, government and our local civic leaders to build economic resilience, prioritise investment and plan the growth we want to see for the benefit of all communities across the South East Midlands.”

Peter will play a key role advocating for the South East Midlands economy, raising the profile of SEMLEP to Ministers, businesses and investors on national platforms. He will work closely with partners to shape and deliver the long-term economic vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, and the SEMLEP area which sits at the heart of this national growth area.

As Chair, Peter will be responsible for leading the Board, setting priorities and ensuring a strong focus on accountability and transparency of SEMLEP’s decision making. He will chair his first Board meeting on 22 May 2019.

Following his official appointment, Peter said: “I am delighted and very grateful to have been appointed to the SEMLEP chair role. My passion is for ideas and innovation, so it is thrilling to be in a position to support the UK’s most innovative business area.

I look forward to playing my part in building growth for our region that is sustainable, inclusive and of high quality.”

At the Open University Peter devised the university’s strategy Students First, bringing a new ‘digital by design’ approach to the university’s teaching.

At the BBC, Peter held several roles, including being editor of Newsnight and Panorama, Head of Current Affairs, Head of TV News and Head of Multimedia News. He won two BAFTA awards for his journalism.

In 2015 Peter was awarded a CBE for Services to Broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Peter throws himself into a variety of local activities – including singing in the Danesborough Chorus, cycling with Team MK and spinning to keep fit at Flitwick Leisure Centre.  He volunteers as a careers adviser in schools and is the chair of members for a local academy schools trust. He aims to cycle to all parts of the SEMLEP area during his time as Chair.

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