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Key role awarded to business leader

One of the region’s leading businesswomen has been appointed to head the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mandy Thorn MBE was named the new chair of the Marches LEP at its board meeting last night. A leading figure in the social care sector, Mrs Thorn is chair of Shrewsbury-based Marches Care Ltd, an SME provider of nursing and dementia services.

She succeeds Graham Wynn OBE who stands down after serving his full six-year term as head of the LEP, which is responsible for driving economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Mrs Thorn, a previous vice-chair at the LEP and former chair of Shropshire Business Board, today described her appointment as a huge honour.

“The Marches LEP plays an absolutely vital role in ensuring the economic prosperity of this region, helping our business community to thrive and grow and making sure the infrastructure and skills we need to flourish are all in place.

“Under Graham’s leadership it has worked tirelessly to build hugely successful working partnerships between the public and private sectors, our education and training providers and regional and national partners.

“Our challenge now is to build on that excellent work to ensure that the Marches enjoys continued and sustainable growth and is recognised nationally as one of the best places to live and work in the country.”

Mrs Thorn, who received her MBE in 2014 for services to dementia, is also the current president of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of Lingen Davies Cancer Trust.

Marches Care runs the award-winning Uplands care complex on the edge of Shrewsbury at Bicton Heath and is one of the largest independent care organisations in Shropshire.

Mr Wynn said he was delighted with his successor’s appointment.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the Marches for the past six years and I am delighted to be passing the baton to someone of Mandy’s proven calibre.

“She will, I know, bring a huge amount of experience, knowledge, passion and commitment to the role. The Marches LEP is hugely fortunate to have appointed someone with such an impressive track record of success.”

Mrs Thorn’s appointment – for a three-year term and ratified by the full Marches LEP board at its meeting last night – follows a comprehensive recruitment process. 

Mr Wynn has been a member of the LEP board since 2011. He founded the TTC Group, the country’s largest driver retraining organisation with his wife Jenny in Telford and was awarded the OBE in 2006 for his work promoting road safety.

He has served on the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and the Telford Land Deal Board, is a founding member of Telford Business Partnership and former chair of Telford Business Board. He has also served for the past three years on the Midlands Connect Board and the Board of the National LEP Network representing the six West Midlands LEPs.

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