Heart of the South West LEP Board welcomes new members

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) has formally welcomed its two newly appointed non-executive directors at its Board meeting on Wednesday 16 September: Martha Wilkinson and Martin Brown.

The two new members were recruited as part of a HotSW wide advertisement asking for a strong entrepreneurial background, with the skills to help take forward the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.

The calibre of the responses was high, and the chosen candidates match the ideal aims of the recruitment criteria, with a breadth of experience, including business and/or social enterprise.

Martha Wilkinson lives in Wiveliscombe, West Somerset and is Chief Executive Devon Community Foundation, which she joined in 2009, just as the economic crisis was hitting, and coordinated a complete restructure and renewed focus. The Foundation distributes grants to local groups and organisations which are tackling disadvantage and deprivation across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. She relishes the challenge of working with all sectors to bring about positive changes in the lives of the most vulnerable people.
Martin Brown has a background in software and high-technology businesses. He has held a variety of senior positions in large technology companies such as Symantec and Sun Microsystems and more recently is actively involved in the British early-stage technology arena with companies such as ChangeBase and Digital Shadows.

Martin lives in North Devon, is a non-executive director of North Devon+ and sits on the steering group of the Unlocking Business Investment programme for the Heart of the South West area.  He is interested in the opportunities that the development of high-tech and internet businesses can bring to the region.

Heart of the South West Chair Steve Hindley said: “We welcome Martha and Martin to the Board of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. They bring new and diverse experience to our partnership, and I look forward to working with them over the coming months as we take on new challenges towards transformational growth.”

Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia, said: “HotSW LEP has already proven itself to be a partnership that gets things done. By championing our priorities and putting forward a credible portfolio of investable projects, we’ve been successful at building the business case for approaching £500m of investment in the local economy. Our new board members are well equipped and committed to making positive contribution to progressing our plans for economic prosperity.”
The non-executive directors attend Board meetings once every two months and periodic meetings or events across the HotSW LEP area, related to their areas of expertise to support HotSW LEP activity.