New Chief Executive appointed

chris-garciaThe Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has named Chris Garcia as its newly appointed Chief Executive.

Chris brings a combination of public and private sector leadership, people and financial management experience – including establishing a SW based family business; taking forward a £1billion public and private investment programme for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; and the role of Director of Enterprise and Skills for the South West Regional Development Agency.

Chris Garcia said: “This is an exciting challenge and I am thrilled to join the Heart of the South West in their role to lead, influence and drive economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the area.

“The Heart of the South West is a fantastic place in which to live and work and the LEP is making it even better.”

Adam Chambers, LEP Board member and Chief Executive of Peninsula Enterprise, who coordinated the recruitment, said: “Chris’ impressive track record, combined with his understanding of the private and public sector meant that he is ideally suited to this crucial and exciting position.

“Chris has huge drive and dynamism, an excellent network of contacts, a detailed understanding of the complex economic and political landscape at local and national levels and has extensive understanding of partnership working between the public and private sectors.”

Tim Jones, Chair of the HotSW said: “Chris’ appointment followed a highly competitive recruitment process and I am very much looking forward to working with him to help us achieve our goals and fulfil the area’s potential.

“We have some significant capital investments within our area which will provide opportunities for many of our businesses, both large and small, to compete more successfully.

“There are also many challenges and opportunities for improving our international trade and export activities and Chris’ involvement in our partnership working and strategic priorities will be crucial to ensuring that we can deliver our stated principles of improving jobs, growth and business productivity.”

“The importance of LEPs’ contribution to economic growth is now recognised both locally and nationally: this is an exciting new phase for the partnership.”

Chris will take over from Liz Waugh who has been acting as the interim Chief Executive since last year.