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Hospice leader and former journalist joins Cumbria LEP

A CUMBRIAN hospice leader and former BBC journalist will help oversee growth of the region’s economy.

Julie Clayton, Chief Executive of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice, is the latest regional leader to join the board of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - the organisation tasked with driving growth and investment in the region.

She’ll bring a track record of collaboration and in-depth knowledge of the public and health sectors to the board.

Julie was born and in raised in Carlisle. She’s spent years telling the stories of the county’s communities, both as a reporter for BBC radio and as a communications leader for the NHS in north Cumbria.

Julie Clayton said:

“I’m so pleased to be joining the LEP Board. As someone born in Cumbria, who lives and works here, I know and understand the challenges facing the county’s economy. I’ve recently moved from one of the county’s biggest employers, where I played a role in developing collaborations and fostering involvement and improvement. Now I am leading a much valued charity I can bring an understanding of the pressures facing the public and third sectors.

“I am very proud of the diversity of businesses across our county and know that there is a strong story to tell about all that Cumbria offers. It’s such a wonderful place to live and work, it’s essential we talk up our successes and make the case for Cumbria on the UK’s stage.”

In a complementary move, the LEP Board has also extended Lorrainne Smyth’s membership of the board for another three years. As Chief Executive of Action With Communities in Cumbria (ACTion), Lorrainne is nominated by the Third Sector Network to represent Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise interests on the Board and ensure that the sector has an effective voice in strategy development and delivery.

Hospice leader and former journalist joins Cumbria LEP

Commenting on the decision, Lorrainne Smyth said:

“It’s so valuable that the LEP recognises the important role of the third sector in Cumbria’s economy. Volunteers and not-for-profit organisations play a really key role in forging meaningful communities across the county – essential if we’re going to ensure our villages and towns remain sustainable for years to come.

“I’m delighted to be carrying on in the role, bridging the link between the sectors and helping address some of the challenges being faced, particularly in our rural communities when it comes to things like housing, skills and funding.”

The appointments follow a trio of women business leaders joining the LEP’s Board last year, securing equal gender representation on the Board.

Lord Inglewood, Chair of the Cumbria LEP, said:

“Julie has spent her whole career telling the stories of people from every walk of life across Cumbria, often at very difficult and sensitive moments. Now, she’s a leader of a much-loved charity that provides an essential service in peoples’ hour of need. She’s an excellent addition to our Board, she’ll bring in-depth knowledge of the needs of some of Cumbria’s biggest employers, as well as a fresh perspective on how we champion Cumbria beyond county borders.

“I’m very pleased that Lorrainne’s term of office has been extended for a further three years, helping provide continuity on behalf of the voluntary and community sector. Her insight and contribution helps ensure that our economic strategies embrace and support the needs of all of our communities and people.”

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