A new man is at the tiller of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
Gary Jeffries, managing director of Fareham-based commercial property specialist Hughes Ellard, has been nominated by the Solent LEP board to succeed outgoing chairman Doug Morrison.
Mr Morrison announced his intention to retire as Port Director at ABP Port of Southampton in September and will also be stepping down from his seat on the Solent LEP board at the end of the year.
Mr Jeffries has been a member of the board since it was established in 2011, and has most recently been deputising for Mr Morrison for duties such as the recent official signing of the City Deal.
He said: ‘Doug has given the LEP the very best start in life and everyone in the region owes him a huge debt of gratitude for the quality of his leadership and vision.
‘His are big shoes to fill but with the great team here and the huge natural strengths of the region and its dynamic people, I’m confident we can build further success on these foundations.’
Mr Morrison welcomed Gary to the post.
He said: ‘I am hugely proud of the work we have done at the LEP. We are putting in place the support the regional economy needs to prosper long into the future. We can already see the benefits of the work we have been doing right across the region and that is only set to grow into the future.
‘The team here has been fantastic and it is down to their efforts that the Solent is rightly being recognised as leading the way for LEPs in the UK. I know Gary will be able to rely on them to continue to deliver first class results throughout his term as chair.’
The headquarters of the Solent LEP is within the 1000 Lakeside building within the Lakeside North Harbour Business Park.