Dorset LEP appoints new Chair

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Stewart, Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, as its new Chair.

The appointment was made by the Dorset LEP Board at its meeting on 23 November, following the completion of former Chair Gordon Page’s term in office.

Jim was appointed Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners in 2002 and has been a board member of the British Ports Association (BPA) Council since then.

Jim has managed shipping companies in the UK and overseas since 1988 after commencing his career as a shipbroker on the Baltic Exchange in the City of London. 

In the past six years, he has served as Chair of BPA, Chair of Maritime UK (representing UK ports and the UK maritime services sector), Chair of UK Port Skills, and Safety and Chair of Access to UK Ports committee. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Jim gained an MBA at the Cass Business School in London and has served as President and council member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has also held a number of non-executive positions, including the Director of Poole Lighthouse Arts Centre.

On his appointment, Jim Stewart, said: “I am both delighted and honoured to have been selected for this important role, particularly during this exciting time with so much growth activity taking place across Dorset, helping to create jobs and strengthen the local economy.  

“I am committed to ensuring the success of Dorset’s vision for a sustainable, competitive and innovative economy, as well as helping to guide the LEP’s work on attracting and retaining high skilled workers and delivering accessible and affordable housing.

“Dorset’s sector strengths in finance, advanced engineering, agriculture, tourism and the creative industries  has made it an attractive place to do business and I look forward to playing a more pivotal role in helping our private and public sector partners to further realise its economic potential. “

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director, said: “We are delighted that Jim has been appointed Chair of the LEP Board. Jim is a very well-respected business leader and has a very good understanding of the key economic challenges and opportunities that we currently face in Dorset. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our previous Chair Gordon Page for his invaluable strategic leadership and guidance over the last six years and for helping us to achieve some major successes including securing £98.5 million in local growth funding for Dorset and attaining Enterprise Zone status for the new Dorset Innovation Park.  I look forward to working closely with Jim and the rest of the Board on delivering more economic successes across the county.” 

For information about the Dorset LEP Board click here

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