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31st July, 2003

NEW CHAIR APPOINTED FOR YORKSHIRE FORWARD

Thursday 08:43

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has today appointed Terry Hodgkinson to chair the Board of the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward. He will replace Sir Graham Hall when his term of office ends in December 2003.

Terry Hodgkinson (54) lives in West Yorkshire. He is currently Managing Director of Magna Holdings Ltd and a Director of Lemmeleg Building and Contracting Ltd. He currently chairs first, the economic development agency for the Wakefield District and is a board member of the Wakefield District Partnership. Terry is also a committee member for the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and Humber Region and a Yorkshire and Humber Construction Forum Board member. As an employer he has worked with Yorkshire Forward on urban renaissance, skills and other construction industry issues.

Commenting on his new appointment Mr Hodgkinson said:

"It is a great honour to be appointed as Chairman of Yorkshire Forward to take up the reins from Sir Graham Hall when his appointment ends in December. Yorkshire Forward has achieved a lot under Graham's leadership. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the Board, its executive team and staff, to lead the next phase of the Agency's development. Working closely with the wide range of stakeholders across the region and beyond, I relish the challenge and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead." Felicity Everiss, Regional Director of the Government Office Yorkshire and the Humber, welcomed the appointment, saying:

" I look forward to working with Terry whose private sector background and partnership work with the public sector will enable him to build on the good work of his predecessor.

"I would also like to take this early opportunity to thank Sir Graham for his contribution to the region and to wish him well in the future."

In adding his welcome Sir Graham said:

"I am confident that Terry will lead Yorkshire Forward to continued success in the next phase of its development, so that the Regional Economic Strategy delivers tangible benefits to the businesses and people of Yorkshire and the Humber."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The new Chair is appointed for an initial term of three years. All RDA Chairs receive £47,800 for a time commitment of 2 days a week.

2. The RDAs are business-led organisations, launched in 1999 to stimulate regional economies to reach their full potential. The RDAs' top priority is to provide strategic leadership to promote economic development, enterprise and regeneration in their regions, tackling economic differences within their regions as well as driving up the performance of the regions as a whole.

3. In the Comprehensive Spending Review on 15 July 2002 the Chancellor built on the additional £185m already allocated to the RDAs for 2003-04, by providing them with an additional £82 million in 2004-05 and £204 million in 2005-06. These new funds will be used to boost the RDAs' work driving forward economic development and regeneration in the regions. RDAs were also given new influence in areas with a direct bearing on the region's economic performance. For the first time they will have responsibilities in the areas of transport, tourism, planning and housing. They will also work closely with the Small Business Service (SBS) and with the recently established Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) to reduce skills gaps and shortages. They will also work closely with local Learning and Skills Councils (LSC).

4. The Single Programme, also known as the 'Single Budget' or 'Single Pot' was introduced on 1 April 2002 to combine funding from four Government departments into a single budget. It replaces the Land and Property and Single Regeneration programme of the ODPM, the regional Innovation Fund of the DTI and BTI's Inward Investment /BTI, the skills development fund of DFES, and DEFRA's rural development fund.

Issued on behalf of the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber by GNN Yorkshire and Humber. For more information please contact Leeds on TEL: 0113 283 6595; FAX: 0113 283 6586; EMAIL: anne.haynes@gnn.gsi.gov.uk

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