New MD for Britain’s Energy Coast

Michael Pemberton will take up the reins of Britain’s Energy Coast in west Cumbria later this month as Steven Szostak steps down as managing director to return to consultancy.

Pemberton will be promoted from programmes director to take up the post of chief executive, and will aim to draw up a strategy to secure the long-term financial future for BEC, in order to deliver regeneration into the west of Cumbria.

Szostak spent three years at BEC, having moved in 2012 from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire. He previously spent a year at Blackburn with Darwen Council as head of regeneration and two years at Doncaster Central Development Trust. He ran his own management consultancy for seven years from 2001 to 2008, SSA Project Management, and will re-establish that business.

During his tenure at BEC, Szostak helped launch a regeneration project in Whitehaven on the old bus station site and secured investment for Westlakes Science & Technology Park, owned and operated by BEC, with the completion of both Pillar House, home to Jacobs, and Rutherford House, home to Atkins.

Speaking about his departure Szostak said: “I am pleased to have had the opportunity to bring my regeneration experience into Britain’s Energy Coast, and to play an integral role at a company bringing significant benefit for the community. I am very proud of what has been achieved over the last three years and am confident that Michael will take the company in the right direction. When I took up the post at BEC in 2012 I was confident it would be the right role to see me through to my retirement from salaried work and I am now looking forward to taking up commissions across Cumbria and Lancashire with my consultancy.”

The leadership changeover will officially be ratified at the BEC November board meeting on 18 November and Szostak’s last day will be Friday 20 November.

Former Army officer Pemberton joined BEC in June 2015 with experience in strategic company development. He has overseen major positive change at National Car Park Company, Rheged and the National Trust. He said: “BEC is an organisation with a great team, a strong heritage and a track record of delivering outstanding regeneration in the county. However, with the world changing around us, now is an opportune time for us to review our organisation and ensure we are delivering the best results possible for the communities we serve, with the best use of our resource. Our mission is simple: To support excellence in economic development across West Cumbria. We will be the chosen economic regeneration partner – financially sustainable and self-sufficient. This vision will be achieved by developing a robust strategy backed up by a clear implementation plan.”

BEC chairman Nigel Catterson said: “The Britain’s Energy Coast board and team are grateful for Steven’s contributions since he joined in 2012 and we wish him luck for the future.

“The board has every faith and confidence in Michael’s leadership and his vision of what BEC can achieve,” continued Nigel, “Under Michael’s stewardship we are developing a very clear vision and purpose for the future of BEC with plans to unveil this early in 2016.”

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