Three high profile local professionals are set to join the Board of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the strategic organisation that aims to drive economic growth into the area.
There is an immediate requirement to appoint three new Board Members during March with an additional three over the next 12 months, to replace members whose terms of appointment have expired, or will be expiring shortly, and to broaden the scope of experience and expertise on the Board to ensure it appropriately reflects the key areas of industry and economic activity identified in the SWLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.
The three people chosen to join the Board come from a broad range of backgrounds and bring with them their own specialisms.
Amanda Burnside, Acting Principal at Wiltshire College, has lived in the county for 25 years. She has worked in the further education and skills sector for many years most recently at Wiltshire College and previously, for seven years, at Swindon College, before which she worked in educational marketing and consultancy.
She said she was excited to be joining the SWLEP Board.
“All three colleges in Wiltshire and Swindon are of significant importance in delivering the SWLEP economic plan, as is the employment and skill strategies for both councils,” she said. “I believe it is essential that further education has an expert voice on the SWLEP Board.”
Shahina Johnson has worked for a decade as CEO and Artistic Director at Create Studios Digital Media.
Swindon’s Create Studios provides transformational opportunities for individuals and communities, using digital arts as a tool for education, skills development and connection with those in danger of social exclusion or isolation.
Previously she worked in national digital cultural education initiatives for Arts Council England.
Shahina said: “I have spent much of my professional life within cultural management in Swindon, and have been resident in Wiltshire for 12 years. As such I am committed to promoting its economic development and cultural and social profile.
“I am keen to bring my experience of public sector, cultural development and the digital economy to contribute to SWLEP’s vision for delivery across Swindon and Wiltshire.”
John Mortimer has worked for 13 years as South West Director of the Country Land & Business Association (CLA). He had previously worked for 25 years as technical and External Affairs Director at Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd in Chipping Sodbury.
He commented: “Having lived in Wiltshire for 30 years, the county is my home and my community. Business development, large and small, excites me. I enjoy engaging with business owners who have the ambition and determination to grow their enterprises.
“My industrial management experience, coupled with a comprehensive understanding of Wiltshire’s rural economy, will provide the foundation of my engagement with business enterprises in Swindon and Wiltshire.”
Barry Dennington, Chair of SWLEP, said: “Our new Board members will help to provide strategic insight and support to the Board and contribute to the development of one of the most successful LEPs in the country.
“I’m very much looking forward to working alongside them at an exciting time for economic development in Swindon and Wiltshire.”