Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership Board

The main role of the Board is to set the strategic direction for Cumbria’s economic growth and development.  You can find their profiles and declarations of interest below. You can also view our Chief Executive Jo Lappin’s declaration of interests by clicking here.


Lord Inglewood


Richard Inglewood is a Cumbrian non-affiliated Member of the House of Lords. He was previously Chair of the boards of Cumbrian businesses Carr’s Milling Industries plc, CN Group Ltd and Gen2.

Lord Inglewood has also held a number of ministerial positions during his career. He was the minister for broadcasting and for tourism during his time as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of National Heritage in the late 1990s. He has also served twice as a regional MEP, first for Cumbria and Lancashire North and then for North West England.

He is President of Cumbria Tourism and has been Deputy Lieutenant for Cumbria since 1993 and Vice-Lord Lieutenant for Cumbria since 2012.

Lord Inglewood was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Cumbria College of Agriculture and Forestry. He was called to the Bar in 1975, is a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA).

Lord Inglewood (chair) – declaration of interests

Jim Jackson

Deputy Chair and Chief Executive of Fourwinds60 Consulting Ltd

Jim Jackson has worked in the telecommunications industry all his career, moving to Cumbria in 1984. He provides consultancy services to telecoms firms, primarily suppliers to the major operators like Openreach.

He helps clients with operational structuring to underpin performance and growth, recruitment at senior management and director level, and mentoring of new and existing senior managers. Jim also supports the creation of bids for tenders within the industry, primarily for projects which are to build full fibre networks, and can also assist with operational due diligence on acquisitions.

Jim was previously Regional Infrastructure Director for the North for Openreach and throughout his career has fulfilled a wide range of roles within British Telecom and Openreach. These include Business and Operational Planner for Openreach, four years project management for the Superfast Broadband UK, taking roll-out to 12m homes, and successfully working on bids for £800m of Government funding through the Broadband Delivery UK programme.

Jim lives in South Cumbria and in his spare time he enjoys making the most of what the Lake District has on offer, particularly fell walking.

Jim Jackson – declaration of interests

Peter Allen MBE

Lake District National Park Authority

17th generation Cumbrian Hill Farmer involving 15 years in NFU farming politics, chairing National committees and also member and chair of advisory committees to the European Union.

Chairing committees involving Animal Health including being the only farmer member of the Royal Society Inquiry into Infectious Diseases in Animals post the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

Founding board member of Natural England. Board member of North West Development Agency with responsibility for food production and retailing, farming and rural economic generation and carbon footprints and climate change.

Peter Allen – declaration of interests

Graham Booth

Board Director of E H Booth and Co Ltd

Graham Booth is an established business and retail expert working as a family Board Director for E H Booth and Co Ltd. He has been responsible for developing 12 Booths stores throughout the North West, including its new Central Offices and Distribution, overseeing multi million pound projects.

He has worked closely with county councils, local planning authorities and institutional investors, often helping to procure key infrastructure projects alongside the retail developments. Graham has worked across various departments in the grocery business including retail, distribution and manufacturing. Prior to managing Booths property portfolio, he established the Fresh Produce department, developing a policy of dealing with local suppliers, one to which Booths adheres to this day.

Graham Booth – declaration of interests

Stephen Cole

Chief Infrastructure Officer - BAE Systems Marine Ltd

Stephen is the Chief Infrastructure Officer member of the Board of Directors. He has responsibility for the strategic development, delivery and operation of all the businesses infrastructure assets including IT and Site and Facilities.

Starting in BAE Systems in November 2008, Stephen has led the creation of a number of key investment strategies aimed at building the capability necessary to deliver the Strategic Deterrent Programme and providing a long term business that will be capable for the next 30 years.

Born in 1970 in Birmingham, Stephen left school at the age of 16 to start an apprenticeship employed in the automotive industry. He went on to further his career in Telecommunications, High Tech and Consulting sectors as an advisor, board member, and manager with responsibilities for strategy and operations with budget responsibilities up to £100M. As a creator of breakthrough business plans, Stephen has helped business improve their performance through innovative use of process, capabilities and technology, their routes to market and has established new companies that can exploit emerging markets.

Stephen enjoys a fulfilled family life living in the Lake District in the UK with his wife and 3 young daughters and has a keen passion for Cumbria as a great place to work and raise a family.

Stephen Cole – declaration of interests

John Coughlan

Managing director, TSP Engineering

John Coughlan joined TSP Engineering in 2014 with overall responsibility for driving strategy, operations and continuous business improvement. His career has taken him across Europe, Asia, North America and Mexico in senior non-executive and executive roles with in global organisations such as Aerly Bird Trans Global, UpRight, Celestica, ITW Avery Weightronics and Dianorm Teo.

John has a long background in manufacturing and has supported Cumbria LEP with advanced manufacturing development. He has also worked on a range of senior committees, enterprise boards and liaison groups.

John Coughlan – declaration of interests

Dr Steve Curl

Private Equity specialist

Dr Steve Curl has extensive experience in the energy industry and as a senior executive in international technology companies.

He now chairs a portfolio of private equity backed companies. He has served as Deputy Chair and Chair of Finance for the University of Cumbria’s Board, as a Magistrate in Kendal, as a Member and Chair of Finance and Resources for the Lake District National Park Authority and as Chair of National Parks Partnerships LLP.

Steve leads on transport and infrastructure for the LEP, and sits on the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Board.

Steve Curl – declaration of interests

Carolyn Dodwell

Director of CRC Consultancy (UK) Ltd. & Cumbria LEP SME Representative

Carolyn has extensive experience working in the areas of business development and marketing both internationally and in the North West. Having held senior positions within several legal firms, Carolyn’s work has brought her into contact with a vast range of businesses, professional services firms, SMEs, large UK and global businesses, public sector organisations, and, regardless of the size or nature of the client, the whole spectrum of market sectors.

Carolyn has been at the heart of strategic planning, working at Board level for the past decade. Carolyn established CRC Consultancy (UK) Ltd in 2008 and the consultancy has helped many businesses plan and undertake strategic developments pitch for and win significant new business, and analyse and grow their existing client relationships, both nationally and internationally.

Carolyn is passionate about helping people, whether in business or the community, and has a number of interests including role as Trustee/Director of Fairfield Hospital and of Kendal Almshouses.

She is also Cumbria LEP’s SME representative and chairs the Business Strategy Group.

Carolyn Roberson – declaration of interests

Professor Patricia Livsey

Chief Executive of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice

Patricia’s board membership is aligned with the LEP’s Voluntary and Community Sector Nomination in partnership with the Third Sector Network. Patricia brings a wide range of experience to the role, including extensive experience within the health sector. Her work includes national roles within the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Department of Health.

She has also worked at a senior level within the Higher Education sector for over 27 years of her career. That has included operating at Board level for a number of third sector organisations within the university sector.

Patricia Livsey – declaration of interests

Prof. Julie Mennell, PhD

Vice Chancellor, University of Cumbria

A mathematics and physics graduate with a PhD in Applied Physics, Julie has an international reputation in the field of forensic and crime scene science. She has served on the Home Office Forensic Science Advisory Council and the Skills for Justice Forensic Science Occupational Skills Committee, making significant contributions to forensic science strategy, education and workforce development in the UK and overseas.

Julie was previously a Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, with responsibility for the academic and research provision, student experience and graduate outcomes, student and learning support and quality assurance and enhancement. Her brief also involved leading the university’s international and transnational activities, student recruitment and product development.

Julie has also held senior positions at Northumbria and Teesside universities. She is a former President and honorary member of the North East Association of Science Education and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, The Chartered Society for Forensic Sciences, Institute of Measurement & Control and the RSA.

Julie Mennell – declaration of interests

Emma Porter

Managing Director, Story Contracting

With a background in psychology and an MBA from Insead, one of the world’s leading business schools, Emma has worked in the construction industry for 11 years and has recently returned to Story Contracting in the role of Construction Director after a successful spell working in Advisory Services at Arup.

The focus on her work in Cumbria is within the firm’s construction division, delivering a forecasted £30m turnover in 2019/20. She will also continue to be closely involved in socio-economic aspects, stakeholder engagement and business development.

Emma Porter – declaration of interests

Lee Roberts

Barrow in Furness Borough Council

Councillor Lee Roberts is the Deputy Leader of Barrow Borough Council. He has been a Councillor since 2016 for the Parkside ward.

Lee is Barrow born and bred and has worked for Rolls-Royce in the Barrow shipyard for over 30 years. A chair of governors at local schools, husband to a Primary School Teacher and father to a 9 year old son, he has a passion for local education. Growing up on Barrow Island Lee has an interest in the issues of health inequalities and deprivation and the need for the local economy to benefit everyone.

Lee Roberts – declaration of interests

Mary Robinson

Eden District Council & Cumbria LEP’s Rural Champion

Mary Robinson is Deputy Leader of Eden District Council responsible for the Commercial area of the Council which includes Economic Development and Tourism. As an elected member for over 16 years she has previously served as a joint leader, deputy leader and executive member responsible
for resources and communities. A county councillor for 8 years she has served as an Independent member for the North West on of the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

She has an Masters in Business and Administration and over 30 years of experience as a Local Government officer. As a senior manager in a leading Cumbrian visitor attraction she understands the Cumbrian tourism business challenges and opportunities.

Her voluntary work has included youth work, chair of school governors and as a Parish Councillor.

Born in Cumbria, the daughter of a farmer, she is passionate about ensuring the rural areas of our county are able to access public services and investment and sustainability should be at the heart of every decision made.

Mary Robinson – declaration of interests

Mike Smith OBE

Business consultant

Mike Smith OBE has over 35 years of experience working both in and with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector, as well as in the nuclear industry. He joined Gen2 Engineering & Technology Training Ltd as CEO in 2003, and has had significant experience in the design and delivery of high quality training and educational programmes to support the engineering, nuclear and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Prior to this, he worked in a variety of nuclear industry senior management roles for 20 years at Sellafield. A Chartered Engineer by profession and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), he is also a Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute of London (FCGI), and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Mike Smith – declaration of interests

Mayor Mike Starkie

Copeland Borough Council

Standing as an independent candidate in the 2015 elections Mike Starkie was voted in as Copeland’s first Elected Mayor. He successfully, for the first time in Copeland’s history, formed a multi-party Executive Committee. Mike was re-elected in 2019 to serve for a second term.

Mike represents the Council on the Britain’s Energy Coast Cumbria Board, the Copeland Community Fund Board, West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group, Cumbria Community Foundation and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

Born and bred in West Cumbria Mike is married with two children and has spent the last 25 years of his career in the financial sector with senior roles in companies including Pearl, Zurich and Axa.

He now runs his own financial services company established in 2013.

Mike has a keen interest in sport and was heavily involved with youth football, coaching Copeland schools in national festivals.

Mayor Mike Starkie – declaration of interests

Sarah Swindley

Chief Executive of the Lake District Foundation

Sarah is currently the CEO of the Lake District Foundation, a new charity established in 2017. Prior to this she was the CEO of Cumbria and Lancashire Women’s Centres, which provided one-stop shop health and social care services to women with a range of needs including mental health, social exclusion and complex vulnerabilities.

Sarah is also a Leadership Consultant for the Cascading Leadership Programme which provides leadership support to third sector leaders.

Sarah Swindley – declaration of interests

Rebecca Weston

Chief Operating Officer, Sellafield Ltd.

Rebecca has wide experience across Sellafield Ltd, having held senior leadership positions in Operations, Technical and Commercial. As Enterprise Director, she is responsible for Strategy and Planning, as well as Corporate Affairs and Transformation.

She also leads the innovation and research and development programmes, provides the facilities and business units with technical support and ensures the business makes and creates optimum technology choices, while developing the science, technical and engineering skills and capabilities needed now and for the future. Rebecca’s most recent role, before joining the executive team at the end of 2015, was Head of Portfolio for the Retrievals and Decommissioning Directorate.

Rebecca has a BA in Physics from Oriel College, University of Oxford, where she also won ‘blues’ in hockey, football and cricket. She also holds a PhD in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and is an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA), Leadership, Business and Management in which she achieved a Distinction.

Rebecca is a Chartered Engineer. She is also Chairman of the Centre for Leadership Performance, a not-for-profit private limited company that aims to improve leadership capability in Cumbria. She has also chaired the Cumbria branch of The Nuclear Institute, which supports professional development for all nuclear professionals (including CEng registrations) and the broader education of the public, and now sits on the national board.

Rebecca Weston – declaration of interests

Nigel Wilkinson

Managing director, Windermere Lake Cruises Limited

A graduate engineer and Chartered Accountant, Nigel Wilkinson has been managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Limited since 2004. He is also managing director of Winander Leisure Limited and a director of Winander Group Holdings Limited, Lakeland Motor Museum Limited and Rushbond plc.
He served as a director of Cumbria Tourism for almost ten years, prior to his retirement at the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Nigel has been previously involved in the county’s Visitor Economy sub group and development of the associated sector growth plan, and is a past chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force.

Nigel Wilkinson – declaration of interests

Andrew Wren

Principal and Chief Executive, Furness College & Cumbria LEP’s Diversity Champion

Andrew Wren joined Furness College as Principal and Chief Executive in September 2015. During his first year, he led the successful merger of Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College, securing the breadth of post-16 education in Furness. Andrew is committed to providing the highest quality of education and skills training in Cumbria and firmly believes that Further Education colleges have a critical role to play in the economic success of the county.

Having grown up near Brampton, Cumbria, Andrew graduated from the University of Hull in 1993 with a BA (Joint Honours) in French and Scandinavian Studies. His early career was focused on working in hospitality and retail management, before he moved into Further Education as a lecturer at Hull College in 2002. He then took up a senior post at East Riding College where he subsequently became Vice Principal.

Andrew has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Huddersfield and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management with the Chartered Management Institute. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institution for Further Education. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and anything related to IT. At weekends he can usually be seen out walking on the fells with his young son and two lively beagles.

Andrew Wren – declaration of interests

Stewart Young

(Vice Chair) Leader, Cumbria County Council

Councillor Stewart Young is the Leader of Cumbria County Council. He has been a County Councillor since 1989 and brings wide experience of local government to the table.

His first spell as Leader was in 2000-2001 when the County was struck by Foot and Mouth Disease, and he was Leader again during Storm Desmond in 2015 and the severe winter weather of 2018, so not surprisingly he has an interest in the resilience of the Cumbrian economy, and the inadequacy of our physical infrastructure.

Stewart Young – declaration of interests