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Cumbria LEP appoints new CEO

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the county’s strategic economic body, has appointed a new chief executive with experience of leading and delivering some of the largest and most complex investment programmes in the UK.

Jo Lappin was previously CEO of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) where she developed a strategic economic plan for the county that government described as ‘one of the best’. She also oversaw significant performance improvements in business and innovation, employment and skills, and infrastructure.

While at NEP, Jo Lappin also successfully delivered three government pilot projects including Enterprise Advisors, which was later rolled out nationally.

Jo Lappin will take over at the helm of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership when Graham Haywood, the current CEO, departs as planned at the end of April, after a three-year tenure.

Jo Lappin says “I am delighted to be joining Cumbria LEP. I love Cumbria, and I am ambitious for the county and want to ensure that we deliver on our full potential.

“I’ve worked for several decades in the northwest of England and have been a passionate advocate back to government for the area.

“I am looking forward to working closely with all our partners. I want to create a really inclusive organisation, engaging a wide range of public and private sector partners in the business of the LEP and driving forward economic growth in the county.

“I will work very closely with private sector businesses. I want to listen to businesses, so I fully understand what they need from the LEP to ensure their ambitions for growth can be delivered.

“One of my early priorities will be work on the Industrial Strategy, which is a key document for Cumbria’s growth.  It is really important that all our partners work with us to ensure we have a very strong industrial strategy, and that we demonstrate to government that we are well-equipped to make it a reality.”

Jo Lappin’s previous roles include deputy regional director of Government Office for the North West where she boosted performance in her portfolio of North West European Programmes, Housing, Planning and Transport to the value of £850 million. She was also European Director, Government Office for the North West with responsibility for two of the largest socio-economic investment funds in the UK.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s vice chair Jackie Arnold says: “We are delighted to have recruited Jo Lappin. She is a strong and visionary CEO, with a wealth of experience and a really impressive track record of making big things happen.  She will be a powerful advocate for the county, and absolutely invaluable as our CEO as Cumbria plans its economic development going towards the 2030s.

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