Hertfordshire LEP Chair Mark Bretton has today been appointed Chair of the LEP Network Board, set to galvanise a new drive to champion the impact of LEPs and their value in accelerating local economic growth and boosting prosperity across the country.

Mark Bretton is an independent business consultant with corporate experience spanning 35 years. Most recently he was a Managing Director in the operations business of leading global professional services company Accenture.

Welcoming his new role, Mark said: “I’d like to thank the LEP Chairs for the privilege of being appointed Chair of the LEP Network, it comes at a vital time for LEPs as they position themselves in the new political landscape.

“The LEP Network is setting a new direction and will take centre stage as we adjust to rapidly changing economic conditions and LEPs grasp the business opportunities that will enable their local economies to grow and become more productive. LEPs have a good track record on delivery, but their hard work and impact is not always understood – that’s all about to change.”

Other appointments include Mark Livesey, current Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire and Deputy Chief Executive of Cheshire & Warrington LEP, who will take up his new role as Chief Executive of LEP Network in November. Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City region LEP and the Northern Powerhouse 11, will support as Vice Chair of the LEP Network Board.

Mark Livesey was an experienced senior Whitehall civil servant and was responsible for Coastal Communities, High Streets and Town Centres, setting up and launching the Great British High Streets Competition.

He will support the LEP Network Board in working with government ministers and senior Whitehall officials on behalf of England’s 38 LEPs, to push home the impact LEPs are having on villages, towns and cities across the country.

Looking to the future of the LEP Network, Mark Livesey said: “LEPs are gearing up for a challenging political and business climate: never has their role in building local growth and productivity been more valuable or more vital.

“Making sure our stakeholders and audiences know about the hard work that’s going on in their communities and what LEPs can do for their local businesses will be part of our new drive and I look forward to working with all 38 LEP Chairs and Chief Execs to ensure we nail that message home."

The LEP Network enables LEPs to come together on areas of shared importance, engage with government with a unified voice, facilitate dialogue with economic development stakeholders, and share knowledge and best practice.

For more information, visit the LEP Network website: www.lepnetwork.net and follow @TheLEPNetwork on Twitter.