Robert Hough

Liverpool LEP to merge with Mersey Partnership

The Mersey Partnership, inward investment agency and tourism board, will be relaunched later this month when it takes on the formal role of the Local Enterprise Partnership for the city region.

The board of TMP will step down and the current shadow board of the LEP, which has yet to be fully ratified by government, will be appointed the first board of the new company. The 62 staff of TMP will all transfer to the new organisation.

Rod Holmes, chairman of TMP and former project director of Grosvenor responsible for delivering Liverpool One, will resign. He will be replaced by Robert Hough, non-executive director of Peel Group and non-executive chairman of the North West Development Agency.

The LEPs were introduced by the Coalition government to replace regional development agencies. The NWDA will close at the end of March 2012.

LEPs are already up and running in other sub-regions but the Liverpool city region LEP has failed to appoint a chairman or start work in earnest since gaining provisional approval from ministers in October 2010.

Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of TMP, will remain as chief executive of the new organisation. TMP will be renamed but will continue its inward investment and tourism functions.

TMP is funded partly through private membership and also through contributions from local authorities, the North West Development Agency and the European Regional Development Agency.

The TMP board is set to vote on the changes when it meets on 16 December and the detail will be announced at its annual general meeting on 20 December.

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