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Meet the Team – Paul Edwards

Tell us about your job, and what your current focus is:

I’m Head of Strategy at the LEP, which means that I lead on our policy levers for helping to drive forward economic growth across Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Currently I am spending a good deal of my time working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority and our partner LEPs in the Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire, on developing a Local Industrial Strategy for the West Midlands.

What are you most proud of achieving at the LEP?

Over the last 18 months or so, the LEP has moved significantly from a strategic agency to one focused on delivering specific interventions aimed at helping the local economy to grow and thrive. That’s an important shift in emphasis and one that I’m pleased to have played a part in bringing to fruition.

What upcoming event or project in the region are you most looking forward to?

Looking forward might be a bit strong but, as a keen runner, I always “enjoy” the Great Birmingham Run in October – it’s great to see such a mass participation event on our streets. Also – it passes the end of my road at around halfway – to date I’ve always resisted the urge to stop for a rest and a cold drink.

What made you want to move to the region, or what made you stay?

I grew up not too far away and came back ten years ago, partly for family reasons but mostly because the region was an exciting place to be with lots going on and plenty of opportunities to do new things with great people.

What would be your “specialist subject” on Mastermind?

I would be terrible at Mastermind. Pass…

If you were stuck in a lift with two people, who would you want them to be?

A lift engineer might be handy. Failing that, someone to keep me entertained to while away a few hours. I’ll cheat and choose a whole band – they can squeeze – Belle and Sebastian are a long standing favourite and have 20 years of back catalogue to make their way through.

Describe life at the LEP in one word:

Invigorating.