New chief executive appointed for Marches Local Enterprise Partnership

A new chief executive has been appointed to lead The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

Rachel Laver joins the Marches LEP from Cheshire and Warrington LEP where she had been director of programmes, managing more than £240 million of funding.

She succeeds Gill Hamer, who stood down from the role at the end of July after six years.

Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn MBE said Rachel had been the outstanding candidate for the post, which had attracted high-quality applications from across the country.

“Rachel brings with her a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience of the work of LEPs which will be invaluable over the coming months and years,” said Mandy.

“Her record at the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, where she consistently achieved success, managed multi-million pound budgets and established new development funds to help meet strategic goals is particularly impressive.

“Rachel has shown herself to be a tenacious leader and someone who clearly understands  the specific challenges facing the business community across the Marches region as it recovers from the impact of the pandemic. Her appointment will undoubtedly help us  strengthen further the partnership working with our colleagues in the public sector and academia which is such an integral and unique part of the way the LEP operates.”

Rachel, who has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior programme and strategic leader, said she was delighted to accept the new role.

“I have long been an admirer of the work of the Marches LEP in driving forward the economy of the region and am looking forward to playing my part in helping to bring further growth and prosperity to Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“This is a wonderful area, full of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, thriving and growing businesses, warm and welcoming people and a real can do attitude in all its communities. I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to its ongoing success.”

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