MARKETING Cheshire’s new chief executive has been named as Mark Livesey, the current deputy chief executive at the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Mr Livesey succeeds the out-going Katrina Michel and will combine both the LEP and Marketing Cheshire roles with immediate effect, following a decision by both organisations’ boards to merge.
His role at the LEP will now also be expanded to give the organisation a greater profile with the private sector and to create a stronger programme to promote Cheshire as a great place to live, work and invest.
The LEP supports and accelerates the sub-region’s growth to build a sustainable economy by growing the local economy through attracting inward investment into the region from all over the world and through helping existing local businesses to grow and develop.
Marketing Cheshire is the sub-region’s destination marketing organisation and promotes it as an exciting and compelling destination for visitors and conventions as well as investment. It is responsible for communicating Cheshire and Warrington’s brand positively to local, national and global audiences and drives its tourism agenda working alongside businesses and cultural organisations.
The merger is designed to put place marketing at the heart of the investment strategy while enabling Marketing Cheshire to support the LEP’s ambitions to double the size of Cheshire and Warrington’s economy to £50bn by 2040.
Christine Gaskell, chair of the LEP, said: “Over the last five years under Katrina Michel’s dynamic leadership Marketing Cheshire has exceled in establishing our tourism credentials, promoting the sub-region on a global stage and making this area one of the top places in the UK for businesses and visitors.
“We need now not only to maintain this, but also to go further and faster. Mark Livesey has already made a big contribution to the LEP’s work and is ideally placed to bring our two organisations together.
“There are great synergies here and we already share the task of supporting and accelerating the sub-region’s growth to build a sustainable economy and we feel that by combining the two organisations’ talent and expertise we will strengthen our approach and have even greater success.
“This is a pioneering model and future-facing with local enterprise partnerships increasingly charged with taking on more responsibility for local growth. The merger will help us to attract the funding, talent and businesses to Cheshire and Warrington that will deliver more high value jobs because of our fantastic quality of life.”
Angie Robinson, chair of Marketing Cheshire, said: “Tourism in Cheshire is booming, our economy is outstanding and there is a burgeoning confidence in promoting ourselves as an incredible business destination. Therefore, the timing of this merger and the appointment of Mark Livesey as the new chief executive is right as we look to develop a long term strategy that the whole of the sub-region can get behind.
“Both of our organisations are configured for partnership, both already are excellent, but by coming together we believe magic will happen and through collaboration we can make a greater impact and drive Cheshire and Warrington forward.”
Mark Livesey joined Cheshire and Warrington LEP in July 2016 from the Department for Communities and Local Government. His civil service career included serving as the Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and successive housing and planning ministers.
He was also responsible for Coastal Communities, High Streets and Town Centres, during which time he set up and launched the Great British Coast brand, the Great British High Street brand and launched the national Great British High Streets competition. Mark also headed up the Government’s £2.3bn Starter Homes Programme, which aimed to deliver 200,000 starter homes by 2020.
Mark Livesey said: “I am excited and delighted to take on this role and to help bring two high performing organisations together. These are exciting times for Cheshire and Warrington, as we begin to develop our Local Industrial Strategy the recognition of place and quality of place has never been more important. Our visitor economy goes from strength to strength and I want to make sure Cheshire and Warrington is the destination of choice for visitors, businesses and investors alike.”
Philip Cox, chief executive of the LEP, said: “I am delighted that this new joint role for Mark will allow us to bring the Marketing Cheshire and LEP teams even closer together, strengthening further the work both organisations are doing to make Cheshire and Warrington an even better place to live, work, invest and relax.”