The search is on for a new chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) following the sudden departure of Steve Fogg.

The former BAE Systems senior executive had been playing an increasingly central  response to the Covid-19 pandemic and developing its economic strategy.

The unexpected announcement that he was standing down to become chair of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust came in early February.

Speaking shortly before that statement, Steve spoke at a Lancashire Business View event, highlighting the LEP’s work, including the setting up of business-led 

And he issued a rallying cry to businesses, saying: “Don’t sit there quietly, shout up, come and join us, get involved and let’s get a powerful voice for Lancashire because that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Steve, who began his career as an apprentice and worked his way up to a place on the UK management board of BAE Systems, had been in his LEP role since 2019.

He replaced Edwin Booth, chairman of the grocery business that bears his family name and who had been in the hotseat through the 

 said: “My time as chair has coincided with some of the most challenging times that the Lancashire economy has seen and I will always remain a champion and advocate for Lancashire businesses and its people.

“I am particularly proud of all the work that the LEP has done in developing a new strategic framework, the establishment of business-led sector groups and encouraging and delivering investment for growth, through projects such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Samlesbury Enterprise Zone, as well as securing a further £34.1m for Lancashire from the government’s Getting Building Fund.

“The LEP has a strong board, a committed staff and a clear plan to help Lancashire businesses weather the current economic storm and grow back stronger on the other side.”

David Taylor has taken over as interim chair and the LEP says the timeline for appointing a full-time replacement will be announced shortly.

David said: “I want to thank Steve for everything he has done for the LEP during his stewardship. His tenure as chair has seen the Lancashire economy face the unprecedented challenges of Brexit uncertainty, the Covid pandemic and a recession.

“Throughout these trying times, he has remained steadfast in his determination to see

Steve Fogg has left the LEP

Blackburn with Darwen council leader Mohammed Khan also praised Steve’s efforts in the role. He said: “His continued effort to ensure Lancashire’s businesses get the support they need will be missed.”

In another departure, Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver has announced that he won’t be standing in the May elections.

the Lancashire economy recover and grow.

“Our loss is undoubtedly the NHS’s gain. I am delighted that Steve will be able to use his considerable business experience and extensive leadership skills to help such an important public service in these 


In March 2020 we were preparing for lockdown 1.

We thought it would be over by Easter … Summer … Autumn … Christmas.

It’s now 2021. We’re in lockdown 3. On the surface, it’s like Groundhog Day.

But delve a little deeper and there’s a different feel to this lockdown.

There’s genuine hope that, thanks to the amazing work of scientists, a vaccine  momentum is building.

Here at Themis at Burnley College, we’ve noticed employers are gearing up their recovery plans. They’re taking action to not only safeguard and adapt their business but come through lockdown 3 in top gear.

Neil Burrows

As one of the North West’s leading apprenticeship training providers, we’ve been in constant communication with employers since Day 1 of Covid-19, to meet their needs. Now conversations are turning to recruitment and recognition that apprentices can inject the energy, skills and industry knowledge needed for the post-Covid-19 era.

And, we’re seeing more and more high- calibre young people stepping forward to be those apprentices who will lead the way. School leavers certainly still recognise the value of an apprenticeship.

North West Business Training – our business training arm – is busier than

ever, too, supporting employers keen to take their workforce training to the next level. Our trainers have listened to what employers need; they’ve developed bespoke training programmes and right now we’re delivering them.

Forward-thinking employers aren’t waiting for ‘all this to be over’. They’re seizing the opportunity to forge ahead.

Our advisory panels have run throughout the last year – in fact we’ve expanded and developed them in line with industry needs. Only the other week we launched our digital skills panel – sharing our nationally- recognised expertise in this area with  can support them going forward.

We were listening prior to Covid-19. We’ve been listening from day one of the pandemic. We’re listening now. We’ll be listening tomorrow and in the future post-Covid-19. Don’t make today another Groundhog Day. Talk to us and make it the day you start to consign Covid-19 to the history books.




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