First chairman for partnership

ONE of two Local Enterprise Partnerships covering Scarborough has appointed its first chairman.

The York and North Yorkshire partnership, set up to boost the economy of the region which also covers the East Riding, is now chaired by Barry Dodd.

Mr Dodd is one of the area’s top entrepreneurs, known for turning a two-person start-up operation in North Yorkshire in to a multinational company with four manufacturing plants across the UK.

Paul Grimwood, chief executive of Nestle UK, who led the panel interviewing candidates for the role, said: “I am delighted that Barry has been offered, and has accepted, the position of Chairman.

“He brings a wealth of professional experience to the role, and will be a powerful ambassador for this new partnership.”

As well as developing the GSM group from its start-up as a two-person operation to a major multinational, Mr Dodd is also the chairman and major shareholder of two high tech software and systems companies.

Mr Dodd said: “York and North Yorkshire has some of the most interesting, innovative and enterprising business people in the UK.

“Those three key words will set the standard for our LEP.

“I am really looking forward to chairing the board. We will formulate a simple strategy covering no more than one page of A4 paper and then quickly get on with delivery, Business needs delivery not words. It’s all about growing the private sector economy.”

The Local Enterprise Partnership aim is to put the private sector in the driving seat to support business expansion and remove barriers to growth.

Mr Dodd’s first task as chairman will be the appointment of a majority of private sector business leaders to the board.

Cllr John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, one of the authorities supporting the partnership, said: “In the past ten years Barry has devoted a day a week to unpaid public service, said

“His appointment is the culmination of a long and impressive record of public service. As a serial entrepreneur and wealth creator, Barry will bring massive business acumen and professional flair to this hugely important job.”

The partnership was established just over a month ago, following approval by the Government. It was created following the abolition of Regional Development Agencies, such as Yorkshire Forward, and is tasked with enabling the private sector and the public sector to take co-ordinated action in driving job creation, prosperity, and investment.

The new North Yorkshire Partnership will be working closely with existing partnerships in the Leeds City region and the Tees Valley, as well as a Partnership being proposed for Hull, the East Riding, and Scarborough, which is yet to get Government approval.