Helen Simpson OBE has been named as the Chair for the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Y & NY LEP).
An experienced non-executive chair and director, MS Simpson will replace David Kerfoot MBE DL, whose term of office comes to an end next March. There will be a five-month transition period before David Kerfoot retires to provide a stable transition in leadership.
With ambitions to build a greener, fairer and stronger economy, the LEP’s vision is for York and North Yorkshire to become England’s first carbon negative region and in doing so, reshape and strengthen the economy to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic and build in greater opportunity for people who live, learn work and travel in the region.
Ms Simpson’s role as Chair will be to lead the Board and work with partners to engage with government and realise these ambitions, including the proposed devolution deal negotiations for York and North Yorkshire, which could achieve significant investment and drive the region’s recovery and future growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She will be joining a diverse group of board members who represent a wide range of private and public sector businesses and organisations from across the region including representatives from micro-businesses, SMEs, large corporates and education institutions.
Ms Simpson’s non-executive experience follows a senior executive career with BT where she led digital growth businesses and major deals, developed strategy and built commercial partnerships before leading BT’s volunteering programme globally.
She currently Chairs Broadacres Housing Association, a provider of social housing, extra care and specialist provision in North Yorkshire and Trustees Unlimited, which works to improve charity governance. She also serves as a Trustee with St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity in their work with the homeless and vulnerably housed.
“I am excited to get involved with the York & North Yorkshire LEP and look forward to meeting the LEP team, partners and businesses across the region as we work together to build the economy,” she said.
“We live in challenging times, so now more than ever, it will be a privilege to champion York and North Yorkshire. I am looking forward to using my skills and experience, with the LEP team, the Board and the public and private sector partners to help make a real difference.”