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New Non-Executive Director for Innovation appointed

Matthew Rhodes has joined the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Board as Non Executive Director with responsibility for leading on the Innovation Agenda.

Matthew is the Managing Director of Encraft Ltd, a company which he established in 2003 to accelerate the take up of innovative low carbon energy technologies in the UK.

In 2010 Matthew was a joint recipient of the Sir Thomas Attwood Award for his collaborative contribution to the development of innovative projects in Birmingham. Matthew currently chairs the Birmingham Science City Innovative Low Carbon Working Group and is also a Board member on the Black Country LEP Place Advisory Board.

Matthew said:

I’m delighted to have been appointed to the GBSLEP board. I look forward to working with the team and my fellow Board Directors to drive forward the LEP’s ambitious innovation agenda.”

Andy Street, Chair of GBSLEP, welcomed Matthew saying:

Matthew’s experience of working with universities, global companies, digital innovation leaders, local authorities and the UK Research Councils, means he is bringing a unique perspective on innovation to the LEP Board. It is a pleasure to welcome him to the Board.”

In other changes at Board level, Alan Volkaerts has stepped down as Board Director for Employment and Skills due to the time demands of his new role overseeing the development of new models in the Land Rover range at JLR in Gaydon.

GBSLEP Chair Andy Street thanked Alan for his contribution to the LEP, saying:

Alan was fundamental to securing Local Growth Funding for skills capital from the Growth Deal and led on developing the LEP’s new approach to employment and skills the ‘ignite, accelerate and retune’ model which has been adopted by the Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire LEPs and formed a key part of the WMCA’s Devolution Deal.

I want to thank Alan for his commitment and contribution to the work of the LEP over the past 5 years.”

Andrew Cleaves will take on the role of Board Director for Employment and Skills. Andrew is Principal and Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College and formerly Managing Director of National Express. He has been GBSLEP Board Director for Improving Connectivity since March 2012. Recruitment of a new Non Executive Board Director for Improving Connectivity will begin shortly.