New appointments announced to Marches LEP board

The body responsible for driving economic growth across the region has strengthened its top-level team with four new appointments to its board.

Paul Kalinauckas and James Staniforth
Paul Kalinauckas and James Staniforth

Paul Kalinauckas and James Staniforth have been appointed to The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership’s board after an exhaustive recruitment process.

Meanwhile Councillor Jonathan Lester joins the board in his new role as leader of Herefordshire Council while Andrew Manning Cox takes up his seat in connection with his post as new chairman of the Marches LEP’s designated Enterprise Zone in Hereford, Skylon Park.

Board chairman Graham Wynn said he was delighted to welcome all four to the Marches LEP team.

“The range of skills and expertise which all four new members bring to the Marches LEP will be of enormous help as we continue to drive economic growth across the region.

“I have no doubt that these four new appointments represent a significant strengthening of the board and look forward to working with each of them in the years to come.”

Mr Kalinauckas, from Wellington, is the founder chief executive of West Midlands-based BCRS Business Loans, which was established in 2002 as a not-for-profit lender to help small business access funding.

He is a former Secretary General of the British Junior Chamber of Commerce, a supporter of Young Enterprise and a member investor in Community Benefit Societies across the West Midlands. He is a board director of Responsible Finance, his trade association, and was awarded the “Outstanding Leader of the Year” in 2016.

Mr Staniforth is the Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, which was formed from the merger of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.

He was previously Principal and CEO of Strode College in Somerset for seven years, leading the college to being graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2014. He also served as a senior examiner for AQA in A Level History and currently chairs a national policy group for the Association of Colleges.

Mr Manning Cox is a recently retired litigation and arbitration specialist at global law firm Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and is well known as a keen advocate for Herefordshire businesses. He has represented a number of Herefordshire organisations as well as worked with blue chip clients such as British Airways, EON and Heineken.

Councillor Lester was elected the new Leader of Herefordshire Council in March after seven years on the authority. He is ward member for Three Crosses and has been a cabinet member for Young People and Children’s Wellbeing since 2015. More recently, Councillor Lester was deputy leader of the council.