Search is on for new chief at Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

The influential body which leads on economic growth and investment in Lancashire is looking for a new chief executive.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has announced that Sarah Kemp is to step down from the role to take up a position as pro-vice chancellor for engagement at Lancaster University from July.

She joined the LEP in April 2020 and helped steer the county body through several major challenges including Covid-19, Brexit, and the government’s ambitious net zero targets.

Her tenure has seen the LEP secure millions of pounds in funding to support economic growth across Lancashire through a wide mix of infrastructure, skills, transport, research and development and business support programmes.

Sarah Kemp, who is to step down as chief executive of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

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The LEP said she played a key role in the government’s decision to locate the National Cyber Force (NCF) in the county.

Debbie Francis, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “On behalf of the LEP board and all our partners, I would like to thank Sarah for the significant contribution she has made to the county during her time as CEO.

"She has helped Lancashire navigate the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic, the commercial consequences of Brexit, and the need to develop a greener, more inclusive and innovation-led economy.

“The LEP board and the LEP Company Members, which include Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Council, are currently in discussions regarding succession, and details will be announced in due course.”

In her new role, Sarah will provide “strategic leadership in driving forward the University’s engagement plan”. This is set to include leading on engagement with staff, students and external stakeholders.