Pat Doody, Director of Business and Commercial Banking at NatWest in Lincoln, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, after being a Director on its board since 2015.
He has held the position of Interim Chair of the LEP Board since the previous incumbent Ursula Lidbetter OBE stepped down in December 2019 and will serve as Chair for a term of three years.
Our sister magazine Business Link sat down with Pat to discuss his new role and the LEP’s plans.
“It is a privilege to follow Ursula Lidbetter, who has seen the LEP achieve so much, into the role of chair, but I am excited to support the breadth of opportunities that remain to advance our contribution to the success of Lincolnshire, especially at a time where the government is looking to bolster regional growth,” Pat said.
“I am proud to be chairing the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, which acts as the fourth largest LEP by territory in the country, covering over 7,000 square kilometres, and a location I call home. There is such a strong pipeline of projects that I am eager to see further investment, that will fulfil Lincolnshire and the government’s strategic objectives.
“The job comes at a perfect time for me. Following my role at the Bank I am moving to non-executive work, presenting me with more time to take up the rather demanding role of chair, to have the capacity required for it within the diary, and I stand ready to dedicate myself to it. Working with the LEP offers such great rewards, primarily the opportunity to advance Lincolnshire as a whole, to be able to work for the greater good of the area.
“The LEP, with private and public sector leaders, occupies that fruitful place between the government and businesses, allowing us to understand the former’s position and collaborate with them but recognise and be able to voice the needs of the latter to ensure the economic interests of the area are represented. Working between local government and the business community allows us to deliver strategic projects that will propel economic growth.
“The LEP has such as strong board, and this is what has given me confidence to take the job of chair. It is wide ranging with over 120 directors covering different sectors including most recently Energy and Health.
“One of the biggest objectives for the LEP relates to our work with the Midlands Engine and across Midlands Connect. Listening to businesses from across Greater Lincolnshire, the importance of improving the region’s infrastructure, its connections to the UK and beyond has been made clear. We are therefore very supportive of Midlands Connect’s feasibility work on such projects as the A1 between Peterborough and Blyth, to upgrade it to official motorway status, and the A46 corridor from Bristol to Grimsby, to connect ports, roads and goods. We have a key focus on improving access into and out of the county, which is important for the growth and sustainability of our businesses and unlocking the region and rest of the country.
“We also recognise the strength of our relationship with the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, which has given great support to Lincolnshire. Indeed many businesses in the county have taken advantage of the fund, particularly scale up businesses. Part of my role as chair is to champion investment into businesses and people, and we want to take advantage of the government’s drive to improve productivity and investment into businesses, particularly in the regions. With such a strong project pipeline, we want the government to invest further in growth and are hopeful that we will receive further funding.”
Pat continued: “There is a lot happening in Lincolnshire and at the LEP – it’s a busy space. One particular area of excitement is the agri-food robotics work at Holbeach. The centre is now the largest for agri-food robotics in Europe and we believe it will not be long until it transitions to be the largest in the world. With food robotics such a great area of growth, and priority sector for the LEP, Lincolnshire is securing its place as a leader on the global map for this work.”
Pat has worked in a variety of roles at NatWest for 42 years and has been based in Lincolnshire since 1990. He joined the LEP as Chair of the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Committee and has also served on the Investment Board and the Employment and Skills Board.
He is an advisory board member at the University of Lincoln’s International Business School, a former Vice Chair of the Lincoln College Group (where he was a governor for nine years) and a former Chair of the Steering Group for Lincoln’s biannual digital arts festival Frequency.
Alongside Pat’s appointment, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP has also announced three new Board directors: Yvonne Adam, Managing Director (Frozen) at Young’s Seafood; Alison Ballard, Director of UK Typhoon Support at BAE Systems Plc; Air Commodore Suraya Marshall, RAF College Cranwell.