Booths supermarket supremo Edwin Booth has announced he will be stepping down from his role as chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
He was appointed its first chairman in 2011, and his leadership has seen it become one of the strongest performing enterprise partnerships in the country which has overseen more than £1bn of investment into Lancashire..
Under his tenure the LEP has secured a raft of inward investment projects including the £320m Growth Deal – the largest secured outside the core city regions, the £450m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, the Lancashire Enterprise Zone cluster programme, the £20m Growing Places Investment Fund, Boost, Lancashire's business growth hub, which has worked with nearly 5,000 local SMEs and created over 1,500 new jobs.and established Transport for Lancashire.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Edwin for his contribution and commitment to the Lancashire LEP and for the significant impact his leadership has had on the local area. I wish him well for the future as the leader of one of the most iconic businesses in the Northern Powerhouse – Booths.”
Mr Booth, who will stay on to help find a successor, said: “It has been a great honour to lead the LEP, working with a dedicated group of directors, but most of all working on behalf of the people of Lancashire. Some of the most rewarding projects that I have been involved in are those that link businesses with young people to help raise their aspirations.
“I am proud of what we have achieved, but we are now moving into the next phase of local enterprise partnerships, and we need someone to lead the LEP into another phase of success. Much as it is tempting for me to stay and try to do just that, I think it is time to hand the baton on to a new business leader.
"However, I am committed to staying on as chairman until the end of the year and will support the succession process that will begin shortly.
"I am confident that we will find the right person and they, and the rest of the LEP Board, will have my full support as they drive forward the continued growth of Lancashire.”
County Councillor Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council and also an LEP Director, said: “Edwin is a true Lancastrian. His passion, drive and commitment to the LEP has seen it become one of the most successful and effective in the country.
"We want to thank Edwin for his vision and his collaborative leadership, and we want to celebrate what he has helped to achieve over the last seven years.”