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Ex-Highways England chair takes independent post at regional growth partnership

THE FORMER chairman of Highways England has been appointed as independent chair of The Oxford to Cambridge Partnership.

Dipesh Shah pictured above took up his post on July 1 and has begun work with the partnership’s board, stakeholders and managing director Richard Hutchins.

The Partnership, backed by the government, brings together leaders from local councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Arc Universities Group, and England’s Economic Heartland to unlock opportunities for the region’s innovation-led economy and to protect and enhance the area’s environment.

Mr Shah said: “The region is a hub of innovation. There is great ambition to propel its strengths to further stimulate the economy in a manner which benefits all communities, is sustainable and environmentally progressive.

“The Partnership will meet this imperative by building on the collaborative endeavour across the region. The ultimate goal is to secure a future in which all communities prosper from the very best in sustainable ways of living and working.”

Mr Shah is a former chief executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and of large businesses in BP. He has chaired several leading organisations and served as a director of, among others, Lloyd’s of London, The Crown Estate, and Thames Water. He is a former member of the government’s renewable energy advisory committee.

The Oxford to Cambridge Partnership’s interim chair Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “Dipesh Shah’s distinguished career and experience in the public and private sectors, as well as his passion for community development made him an ideal candidate for the role. Dipesh’s appointment marks a new chapter for regional collaboration for this area.”

Dehenna Davison, the government’s Minister for Levelling Up, added: “This partnership will play an important role in growing the local economy and boosting opportunities for people, contributing towards levelling up across the country.”

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