Four high-calibre business leaders are to join Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board over the coming months covering a wide range of industry sectors.

Following an open and transparent selection process, four candidates have been selected to join the LEP Board, three as business representatives and one as SME rep.

The four successful applicants are, from left: David Conway, Managing Director, BBC Studioworks Ltd; Neil Rutledge, Director, Clubfinance Project Finance Ltd; Nitin Dahad, Director, TechSpark Ltd and co-founder of The Next Silicon Valley; and Richard Whitehead, Managing Director, Buildings and Places, AECOM.

The LEP Board members who will be stepping down over the next six months are: Peter O’Gorman, Regional Director of Santander Business Bank; John Gourd, former LEP Board Chairman and site Planning and Services Director, Johnson Matthey; Dan Dark, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden; Andrew Percival, Managing Director of UPP Projects and Graham Lane, founder of IT support service Cheeky Munkey. Nitin Dahad will take over from Graham as SME representative - learn more about Nitin here.

Neil Rutledge, is part of the Local Enterprise Partnership’s business leaders’ Envoy Programme and also sits on its Programme Management Committee (PMC) board which monitors financial spend. Neil will be taking over from Peter O’Gorman as Chair of PMC.

In addition Herts Leaders’ Group is to select a new local authority representative following Cllr Julian Daly’s decision to step down as Leader of St Albans City and District Council.

Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP said: “This is the biggest change in the make-up of the LEP Board since its inception in 2012 and heralds a new phase in the LEP’s evolution. In the past five years it has developed from its strategic role to include delivering the projects that it has secured funding for and that will have enormous economic impact for the county.

“The LEP Board members stepping down have all been instrumental in helping to steer the LEP to this new phase and I hope we will be able to continue to benefit from their wealth of expertise.  I am very grateful for their personal contribution.

“Fixed terms of office means that the LEP can remain agile and responsive to the county’s challenges and opportunities and I look forward to the fresh ways of thinking our new representatives will bring.”

The decision to appoint the new LEP Board Members was formally ratified by the Board on 21 September and will come into effect on a rolling basis over the next six months as current LEP Board members’ terms of office come to an end.