New faces on LEP board

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The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed two new non-executive directors to its board.

They are farmer and agri-food specialist Clare Parnell from St Minver near Wadebridge, and Louis Mathers, who is the co-founder of Cornwall-based peer-to-peer business lender Folk2Folk and a property solicitor.

Both join the LEP board with immediate effect. Parnell will be taking on the role of rural lead on the board, while Mathers will be small business lead.

LEP chair Mark Duddridge said: “Clare and Louis bring considerable strengths to the LEP board and both are passionate about rural affairs. Clare has long championed the agri-food sector and land-based industries in Cornwall, managing a number of trade organisations and a farm visitor centre while being an active partner of a beef and sheep farm for more than 25 years.

“Louis’ experience spans a range of sectors including rural land, agriculture, renewables, retail and leisure. With Folk2Folk he has helped establish one of the UK’s leading national rural lenders, supporting small business growth across the country with £270 million of loans to date.

“We are fortunate to be adding such a wealth of experience to our board and I very much look forward to working with Clare and Louis.”

The LEP is business-led and its role is to drive economic growth and job creation across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It does this by helping to create the conditions in which people and businesses can prosper.

Its 19-strong board includes 15 representatives from the world of business, education and social enterprise, and four local authority members drawn from Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

Since 2011 the LEP has helped secure over £450 million of public and private investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.