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Enterprise M3 appoints highly experienced board to drive local economy

Representatives of businesses of all sizes, the armed forces, councils and the voluntary and education sectors are set to work together to boost the local economy after the appointment of a high profile and experienced line-up for the board of Enterprise M3.

As one of the country’s new local enterprise partnerships, Enterprise M3 works across the north and mid-Hampshire and south west Surrey area to tackle the barriers to economic growth for the area.

Subject to approval by the Government, the new board members join the already appointed Enterprise M3 Chairman Geoff French, from international engineering consultancy URS Scott Wilson, and Vice-Chairman John Copley, from Farnborough Aerospace Consortium.  The board reflects the aims of the local enterprise partnership to bring together a balance of senior representatives from business, to articulate the issues that business want to see addressed, and senior representatives from the public sector to provide a clear route to implementation through local authorities.  All board members will serve on an unpaid basis.

From the business world board members are:

  • Tim Colman - Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Federation of Small Businesses

  • Peter Cowen - Partnership Director, BT

  • Kate Dean - Regional Director, SEGRO plc

  • Laura Pelling - Chief Executive of Business Link South East, Serco

  • Louise Punter - Chief Executive, Surrey Chambers of Commerce

  • Mike Rushworth - Managing Director, Vitacress Salads Ltd

Representing the public sector side of the partnership are councils across the region - Leader of Hampshire County Council Cllr Ken Thornber and a place held open for Surrey County Council, together with Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Andrew Finney, Leader of East Hampshire District Council Cllr Patrick Burridge and Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council Cllr Moira Gibson. They are joined on the board by Brigadier Neil Baverstock representing the armed forces and Managing Director of the Surrey Research Park at the University of Surrey Dr Malcolm Parry. The last place on the board will be filled by the voluntary sector, which is currently electing a representative from the area covered.

The board members, who are all appointed for a minimum of two years, were selected following a rigorous recruitment process across a wide geographical area, with applicants having to provide details of their experience together with a letter explaining what they would bring to the role. 

Enterprise M3 Chair Geoff French said: “We received an exceptionally positive response to our request for representatives to serve on the board of Enterprise M3.  As a result I am delighted that we have been able to appoint a strong team with broad representation of large, medium and small companies in different sectors and from across the geography of the local enterprise partnership footprint.  Similarly, the public sector has made a strong commitment with senior representatives from across the area, including academia, the armed forces and the voluntary sector.  All board members are highly experienced, committed individuals who are prepared to give their time and experience for free to contribute to addressing the hugely important issue of driving economic growth.”

The first board meeting will be held on 11 July, when top of the agenda will be setting Enterprise M3’s priorities.  These will be based on area-wide business surveys starting shortly, feedback from the launch conference and contributions from the action groups set up to look at key issues and opportunities.  The areas the action groups are focusing on include finance, innovation and business support; transport, strategic planning and housing; land and property; leisure, tourism, place shaping and inward investment; the rural economy and broadband and skills and employability, as well as the needs of specific industries in the area.

Enterprise M3 covers the areas of Basingstoke and Deane, East Hampshire, Hart, New Forest, Rushmoor, Test Valley and Winchester in Hampshire and Guildford, Surrey Heath, Waverley and Woking in Surrey, working across traditional boundaries to make a real difference to the people who live and work in the area.  Enterprise M3 has also appointed an implementation group to take action on the key priorities set by the board.  The initial members of this group, working with the Chair and Vice Chair and the heads of the various action groups, have also been announced as:

  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Chief Executive Tony Curtis

  • Federation of Small Businesses Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chairman Tim Colman

  • Guildford Borough Council Chief Executive David Hill

  • Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Jimmy Chestnut

  • Hampshire County Council Director of Environment Stuart Jarvis

  • Hampshire Economic Partnership Chief Executive Paul Kingvig

  • Rushmoor Borough Council Chief Executive Andrew Lloyd

  • Surrey Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Louise Punter

  • Surrey County Council Assistant Chief Executive Susie Kemp

  • Surrey Economic Partnership Chief Executive Mark Pearson

  • Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive Karen Wheelan

Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Andrew Finney welcomed the appointments as good news for the area he serves. He said: “The board has an impressive range of experience: a track record in business success and community service. The diversity of the board will ensure that Enterprise M3 represents the widest possible range of interests.”