Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has praised the hard work, passion and dedication of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman Paul Booth OBE, who has announced he will step down in 2020.
The Tees Valley LEP was established in 2011, became fully integrated with the Combined Authority on its creation in April 2016 and engages with the wider business community and other partners to create growth, investment and jobs in the area.
It is often considered one of the most successful of its type in the UK, working in partnership with the Mayor and five Local Authority leaders.
Former Sabic UK Petrochemicals chairman Paul has been a strong voice in championing the business community and its links to the public sector for more than a decade, taking the role of LEP chair in August 2015.
In that time, he has been closely involved with the formation of the Combined Authority, the South Tees Development Corporation and the purchase of Teesside International Airport.
Paul leaving the LEP coincides with a new membership drive for the body, with representatives from companies in our area sought to ensure an active and diverse group that showcases the breadth of businesses and professionals across the Tees Valley.
Mayor Houchen said: “Paul has been an absolute asset for the LEP, going above and beyond in his role as Chairman and getting stuck in with all the brilliant work we’ve done to help businesses in the Tees Valley grow, invest and create jobs.
“He has been deeply passionate about all of our projects and his hard work and dedication has been second to none. He will be sorely missed for his invaluable insights, support and advice.
“I wish him and all of the other LEP members stepping down all the best and I’m sure they will all continue to make vital contributions to our business community and the thriving Tees Valley economy.
“But now it is onwards and upwards and I would urge professionals from across the region to consider joining our LEP where they can play a major role in shaping our exciting plans for the future.”
Paul said: “It has been an honour to use my 40 years’ experience in the chemicals industry to help make the LEP and Combined Authority the best they can be and support the work of the Mayor in helping businesses and ultimately making our area a better place to live.
“Now, more than ever, we’re ramping up our ambitions to make the LEP more inclusive and representative of the brilliant businesses and individuals in the region. I know it has a great future ahead of it and while I might be leaving this post, I’ll still continue to work hard for my region.”