Published: September 28, 2020 | Updated: September 28, 2020

Big job – and some big shoes to fill – as Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership seeks a new Chair

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP, who steps down this year after his term of office expires.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new Chair is sought for Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) after confirmation that Jim Stewart is to step down from the post.

He has held the role since November 2017 and his term expires this year.

Mr Stewart said: “It has been a fantastic experience to lead Dorset LEP as Chair over the last three years and to see so much investment and improvement in Dorset as a result of our work over this time.

“With a new investment strategy being developed, this is an exciting time to pass on the baton to a new Chair.”

Dorset LEP is one of 38 LEPs in England.

It works in partnership with businesses, local government, education institutions and other industry and community organisations to:

  • Drive economic growth,
  • Attract funding and investment.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Develop local industrial strategies for Dorset.

Jim Stewart was appointed Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners in 2002.

In the past six years, he has served as Chair of British Ports Association, Chair of Maritime UK (representing UK ports and the UK maritime services sector), Chair of UK Port Skills, and Safety and Chair of Access to UK Ports committee.

He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and has served as President and council member of Dorset Chamber.

Since taking up the role of Chair in 2017, Mr Stewart has driven Dorset LEP forward at pace.

Highlights of achievements during this time include:

  • Forging a stronger relationship with the Dorset business community.
  • Establishing the Dorset Local Industrial Strategy.
  • Securing an additional £11.8m investment for Dorset through the Getting Building Fund.
  • Planning the Dorset investment strategy and implementing a new governance structure within Dorset LEP.

Through his leadership, Dorset LEP has continued to deliver its £98.4m programme of Growth Deal projects on time and on budget.

Sara Uzzell, Deputy Chair, pictured left, said: “On behalf of Dorset LEP and our stakeholders, I wish to thank Jim for his dynamic leadership and support during his role as Chair of the Board.

“We have made some important improvements for Dorset since his appointment, thanks to his vision.”

The new Chair will lead the Board and further strengthen the role and reputation of Dorset LEP and deliver the Local Industrial Strategy through the development of the Dorset Investment Prospectus.

As the voice of local business, Dorset LEP welcomes applications for the role of Chair from candidates with a strong business background and reputation at a senior level.

The Chair will be required to represent Dorset LEP at key events and on specific committees linked to their expertise within the region and also to liaise with a range of stakeholders including business owners, local authorities, MPs and ministers.

He or she will also chair Dorset LEP Board meetings every other month and will be supported in the role by Dorset LEP Director, Lorna Carver.

Interested candidates are invited to apply by 10am on Monday October 26, 2020.

The post carries remuneration of £20,000 per annum with a time commitment of five to eight days per month.

More details can be found on the website of the recruitment agent, Gatenby Sanderson here.