Published: January 17, 2022 | Updated: January 18, 2022

New board members “bring their expertise to us at a crucial time” says Chair of Dorset LEP

Pictured from top left, clockwise, Professor Paul Gough, May Palmer, Dr Liz Williams and Phil Sayles.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Four new members have joined the Board of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

They are May Palmer, Dr Liz Williams, Professor Paul Gough and Phil Sayles.

  • May is Managing Director of Wimborne-based family-run construction business, Harry J Palmer Holdings Ltd, and an experienced business leader in the housing industry.
  • Liz, from Gillingham, North Dorset, is an international affairs specialist passionate about business, technology and education.
  • Paul is Vice-Chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and an experienced international higher education leader as well as a painter, author and broadcaster.
  • Phil is the newly appointed Principal and CEO of Bournemouth & Poole College

All four will play an active role to help deliver strategies for Dorset such as the Dorset Investment Prospectus.

The Dorset LEP Board represents the views and opinions of Dorset’s business, education and public sectors.

As the decision-makers, Board members play an important role in the organisation’s successes.

To date, Dorset LEP has secured £170.5 million of government funding which has been invested in 74 projects across Dorset.

It is also developing skills and careers education by working with more than 70 schools while also supporting more than 4,500 businesses grow and expand their offering at home and overseas, adapt to challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, and deliver a series of workshops for SME leaders.

Dorset businesses have also been supported in securing more than £1.5 million of Innovate UK funding through its bid writing service.

Cecilia Bufton, Chair of Dorset LEP, pictured left, said: “These exciting new appointments are bringing their expertise to us at a crucial time for Dorset LEP.

“Over the next year our focus will be on levelling up opportunities to drive talent, innovation and productivity in the region as well as identifying investment opportunities to strengthen Dorset’s economy.

“We’re committed to ensuring people living, working and studying in the beautiful county of Dorset have equal access to affordable homes, education and skills opportunities, careers and business support.

“Our new Board members are primed to help us do just that, and I’m delighted to welcome them to the team.”

Emma Hunt and Diane Grannell have left the Board having either moved to a new job or retired from their former post.