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LEP chair is recognised for services to business community

The chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) has received a prestigious award in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list.

Christine Gaskell has been made a CBE for her services to business and the community, recognising the achievements of the LEP which she leads.

Christine, who was appointed the partnership’s first chair in 2011, was previously awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours for services to training and apprenticeships.

During her time at the Cheshire and Warrington LEP she has overseen £0.5bn funding programme for economic and regeneration projects; the creation of the Cheshire Science Corridor; and has led on the Strategic Economic Plan which details the ambition of doubling the size of Cheshire and Warrington’s economy to £50bn by 2040.

In each of the last two years figures from the Office for National Statistics show that Cheshire and Warrington’s economy has grown by more than 6% with output per head more than 20% higher than the UK average, the second highest of any sub-region outside of London.

In 2018 she became vice-chair of the Government-funded board called the ‘NP11’, comprising the chairs of the 11 Northern LEPs. She has also recently been appointed as a member of the Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy Council, an independent body set up to assess the Government’s progress on the commitments made in its modern Industrial Strategy, led by the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane.

Christine said: “I am delighted to be recognised in this way and while this is a great personal honour, it is really a true testament to the work of the staff at the Cheshire and Warrington LEP and the success we have been enjoying for a number of years.

“I am highly appreciative of the work of all my colleagues, they are committed and passionate in driving our region forward and quite simply it is a pleasure to work with them. While much has been achieved I am certain that we can go further in promoting Cheshire and Warrington as an outstanding place to live, work, study, invest and visit.”

Christine spent much of her career in the motor industry, including 17 years as a member of the board at Bentley Motors Ltd, with responsibility for 4,000 employees across the world.

Amongst her other appointments, she is also a director of the LEP Network and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire.

* Another Cheshire businessperson, Martin Stevens, has been awarded an OBE, for his services to people with multiple sclerosis.

Martin, 55, was diagnosed with MS in 1995 and has been supporting people with the condition and other disabilities for more than two decades. He began volunteering with the MS Society following his MS diagnosis, serving in various roles, including as chair of the Macclesfield group, and as a trustee until 2014.

Mr Stevens, who lives with his wife and two teenage children in Macclesfield, is currently a trustee at the MSIF, a global network of MS organisations. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees at charity Disability Rights UK.

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