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Businesses in the Solent elect new LEP Chair

01 October 2020

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Brian Johnson as Chair of its Board of Directors.

The Solent LEP Chair is elected to the Board by businesses in the Solent area that have joined the LEP as business members.

Brian is the UK Business Development Director at BAE Systems Maritime and works in Portsmouth Naval Base. He brings a wealth of private sector experience to the Chair role, with over 20 years' experience in the Marine and Maritime sector at organisations such as Thales, Marconi and BAE Systems. Brian is also on the Board of the Society of Maritime Industries.

Prior to his election to the role of LEP Chair, Brian had served on the LEP Board for five years and was appointed as LEP Deputy Chair in May 2019. More recently, Brian has been acting as LEP Interim Chair since March 2020 and leading the LEPs work to respond to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement follows the launch of the LEPs Economic Recovery Plan and Brian will now be at the helm of the Boards work to secure economic survival, stability and growth in the Solent.

New Solent LEP Chair Brian Johnson, said:

“I am so proud to be appointed Chair of the LEP and looking forward to playing my part in helping our region recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. It is clearly an incredibly tough time for the local business community and there will be further challenges ahead. However, I have every confidence that our LEP is in a very strong position to support our recovery and put in place the foundations that will deliver the long-term growth and prosperity of the Solent. I know from experience that our Board is fully committed to supporting the Solent region and the vast skills and experience that my fellow Directors bring to the LEP will be invaluable in ensuring I can make an impact in this exciting new role."

LEP Board Director Rachael Randall, who chaired the search committee that led on the work to recruit a new LEP Chair, said:

"Brian has given so much time to the LEP during our initial response to Covid-19 as interim Chair and I am delighted that our Business Members have elected him to the role to help us continue this work over the coming months and years. Brian brings a wealth of experience to our work, particularly in areas such as maritime and defence, which are absolutely critical to the future of the Solent economy.

We were fortunate to have three very strong candidates for the position and I would like to express our thanks to all those business leaders that volunteered their time to support our work. I would also like to thank all of our business members for their participation in the election process and their ongoing support to the LEP."

Brian will take on the role of Solent LEP Chair with immediate effect and further details in relation to the LEP Chair election can be found here.

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