News / West of England

New chair for West of England LEP

By Charlie Watts, Friday Jul 16, 2021

A new chair has been appointed for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Richard Bonner is taking the reins of the partnership, which is the voice of universities and businesses in the region.

The chartered civil engineer has a background in design and consultancy within the building sector.

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He has sat on the LEP board since 2019 and has also served on the West of England Economic Recovery Taskforce.

The businessman is also the UK chief operating officer at Arcadis and the outgoing president of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative.

He is taking over from professor Steve West, the vice chancellor of UWE Bristol, who has been the chair of the LEP since 2017.

Steve West says his successor Richard Bonner will be “excellent” as chair of the LEP.

Richard said: “It’s an honour to take up the baton from Steve West, who has been a fantastic chair.

“I hope to carry forward the work he’s led in building upon our region’s brilliant reputation for innovation and excellence, to help the West of England not only recover from the pandemic but to grow even stronger.”

Steve added that he believes the LEP is in “great hands” with Richard as chair.

He commented: “He’s an inspirational and influential senior business leader with the credibility to help champion the West of England at regional, national and international level.”

Dan Norris, the West of England’s metro mayor, is “looking forward” to working with Richard. Photo by Martin Booth

Dan Norris, the West of England’s metro mayor, said that he is “looking forward” to working with Richard in his new role.

“Together I know that we can put the West of England on the map as a place of progress – with big ideas, even bigger heart and the determination to achieve a better future for our region’s residents and businesses.”

The LEP also help to shape the economic future of the region, and have worked with the government and business community to develop a Local Industrial Strategy.

Main photo by West of England Combined Authority

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