Hertfordshire LEP chair to step down
The Chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) John Gourd has decided to step down later this year after four years at the helm.
John Gourd, Site Planning and Services Director at Johnson Matthey in Royston, has been with Hertfordshire LEP since its inception in 2010 before taking over the Chairmanship in July 2011.
Hertfordshire LEP, one of 39 across the country, was formed after the coalition government announced in June 2010 it would be replacing Regional Development Agencies with Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Under John’s leadership Hertfordshire LEP has been successful in driving forward sustainable economic growth and job creation, bringing local businesses, education providers, the third sector and the public sector together to achieve this.
In his unremunerated role as Chair, John has been instrumental in setting out the economic vision and strategic priorities for Hertfordshire LEP. Thanks to its targeted and achievable Strategic Economic Plan, Hertfordshire LEP has secured significant investment for the county, with a £221.5m Growth Deal from Government and around £60m EU funds for investment into Hertfordshire projects from 2015 onwards.
Hertfordshire Growth Hub: established this year following £350k investment from Government to provide a single port of call for business advice and support across the county.
Croxley Rail Link: £87.85m to help realise this vital infrastructure project which will unlock investment in brownfield sites and revitalise existing employment areas.
Cell Therapy Manufacturing Catapult: supported Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst’s successful bid to secure the £55m manufacturing centre, cementing Hertfordshire’s life sciences credentials.
A1(M) consortium: worked with partners, MPs and businesses to help secure £50m to provide a smart motorway system to relieve congestion at a notorious bottleneck.
John Gourd said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements Hertfordshire LEP has made since it was set up in 2011 and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair. It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicated Board and a talented executive; without their collective hard work and enthusiasm to make a difference, none of this would have been possible. Now that my term of office is coming to an end, I am looking forward to the prospect of finding a new Chair to take Hertfordshire LEP into the next stage of its development.”
Robert Gordon, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “John’s efforts have made a significant contribution to the LEP’s achievements over the last five years, which include attracting millions of pounds of investment to boost the county’s economy. I thank him and trust that Hertfordshire can continue to benefit from his contribution in the future.
“I look forward to continuing our work with the LEP to manage smart growth for Hertfordshire, attracting the right kind of investment and business into the county.”
- High-calibre individuals from the private sector will be invited to apply for the post which is due to be advertised later this month. John will remain in post until his successor has been appointed.