Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP appoints interim CEO

Business body Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed a new interim chief executive.

Ed Watson has taken over the public/private sector organisation while incumbent chief executive Katie Trout is on maternity leave.

Mr Watson’s previous experience includes spells with engineering and project management consultancy Arup in Solihull and as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s town centre task force.

He has spent most of his career in local government and is now director of consultancy EW&A in London which provides planning, place and political advice to public and private sector clients.

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Mr Watson has previously worked on the regeneration of Kings Cross in London to deliver homes, jobs and infrastructure which culminated in the investment of £1 billion by Google in new offices and securing The Francis Crick Institute biomedical research centre.

He said: “I am really excited to be joining the GBSLEP at this critical time.

“There is an incredible energy around the region and I am really keen to get working with private, public and academic partners to drive the growth programme forward.

“I am looking forward to working with the LEP board and executive team to ensure we can continue to create a sustainable and inclusive economy as we look to the future.”

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LEP chairman Tim Pile added: “I very much welcome Ed to the team and the board of directors and I am looking forward to working with him.

“Ed brings a wealth of experience with him through his work in the public sector, with communities and businesses nationally.

“This approach aligns with the LEP’s partnership approach which enables us to create joined-up, targeted and intelligence led solutions and investments to achieve our ambition of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

BusinessLive – West Midlands