A LEADING Midlands law firm chairman and a college principal have been appointed chair and vice-chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) until spring 2021.
The CWLEP’s role is to help determine Coventry and Warwickshire’s economic priorities, driving growth and creating jobs.
Nick Abell has been appointed chair and Marion Plant OBE will be vice-chair until the recruitment of a long-term successor next year.
Nick, who is chairman of leading law firm Wright Hassall, has been a board director for eight years and stepped up to become interim chair in April after Jonathan Browning stood down after six years. He said: “When Jonathan announced he was standing down, we began the process of finding a replacement chair and we had interviews lined-up but that was halted by Covid-19.
“As vice-chair, I volunteered to be interim chair which was approved by the board and it has been very much business as usual over the last few months as we reset the economy due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A new timetable has been set to complete the long-term appointment process and, in the meantime, the board asked if I would be chair for continuity of leadership following a vote. I was more than happy to do so to give enough time to focus on appointing a new chair by spring next year when I will revert to being vice-chair.
“This will provide stability and ensure a comprehensive handover to the new chair as the area embarks on embracing Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture from May which will be swiftly followed by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
He will be assisted by new vice-chair Marion Plant OBE, who is Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools in the region.
She is a CWLEP board director and chair of the CWLEP’s Productivity and Skills Business Group.
Marion, who received an OBE for services to further education in 2009, said: ““It is an honour to be asked to be vice-chair of the CWLEP to continue our effective public-private sector partnership working which has proved to be successful in securing millions of pounds of government funding for the area.
“Coventry and Warwickshire still has vast potential despite these difficult times and we want to continue to drive forward the economy to make it a great place to live, study and work.”