Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Chair

Body: Dorset Local Enterprise Council
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport, Defence, Education, Energy, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Health, Judicial, Prison & Policing, Prison & Policing, Regulation, Science & Technology, Transport
Location: Dorset
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, Insurance, IT / Digital, Legal / Judicial, Major Projects, Procurement, Regulation, Retail, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £20,000
Time Requirements: 5 to 8 days per month

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    26/10/2020 at 10:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    after 11/11/2020

Vacancy Description

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)  is a private sector-led organisation responsible for speaking on behalf of businesses, championing important issues with government, securing funding and investment for the region and driving the economic growth of Dorset. Our vision is to double Dorset’s productivity and economic output to £35.6 billion over the next twenty years, generating 80,000 jobs.

Dorset LEP is seeking an experienced and influential senior business leader who can bring leadership and energy to the role of Chair, continue to facilitate our excellent relationships with key stakeholders and act as a high-level advocate for Dorset regionally, nationally and internationally.

This role is essential to the region as it helps advance accelerated growth in productivity, innovation, earnings and wellbeing across the county and to deliver the ambition to create a local economy that is sustainable, innovative, resilient and inclusive. The Dorset LEP Chair will set the vision and strategy, and drive forward an economic agenda, which focuses on the needs of business, residents and communities.

As an effective influencer and ambassador for Dorset, you will champion Dorset LEP at local, regional and national levels. The Chair role is supported by the Dorset LEP Board which brings together a wealth of experience from the private, public and education sectors.

As the voice of local business, Dorset LEP welcomes applications for the role of Chair from candidates with a strong business background and reputation at a senior level. We welcome applications from individuals who can visualise and convey the bigger strategic picture, offer challenge and insight and genuinely input into the process of advancing our agenda of fostering real and positive change in the Dorset region for the ultimate benefit of all.

We seek applications from individuals who have the proven ability to meet and deliver our aspirations and who will provide energy, commitment and wisdom to lead the development of our strategic priorities and oversee all our decisions and activities.

Dorset LEP is committed to having a Board which embraces diversity and equality. In line with this commitment, the opportunity to apply for the role of Dorset LEP Chair is open to business leaders from all backgrounds and sectors.

Person Specification

Dorset LEP’s Chair will be critical to the successful development of Dorset LEP, providing strategic leadership and overseeing activities in relation to the development of the partnership and delivery of the funded delivery programme.

The Chair will ensure that a broad range of perspectives are united towards the common goal of promoting the interests of the Dorset economy with key influencers in government to secure investment throughout the region.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership and direction to ensure that Dorset LEP achieves its
  • To inspire confidence in the business community, government, the two Local Authorities, investors and all other key partners and stakeholders. Ensure that Dorset LEP understands the needs and opportunities of business and can effectively articulate these into strategic economic policy and delivery.
  • To provide an authentic and respected voice of business on behalf of the Dorset LEP Board, Members and Executive Team on matters of economic strategy and growth to government, partners and to the media.
  • Lead Dorset LEP in developing and implementing an effective vision and strategy that identifies and addresses the key priorities for local economic growth.
  • Effectively chair meetings of the Dorset LEP Board, leading it towards decisions that ensure the strategic vision and key objectives of the Partnership are delivered.
  • Be an effective influencer and ambassador for Dorset, championing Dorset LEP at local, regional and national levels. This includes working with appropriate partner organisations and individuals to promote the Dorset LEP region as an outstanding location to invest and grow and to directly encourage and stimulate investment in the region.
  • Be an effective advocate on behalf of Dorset at conferences/events/meetings with Ministers, MPs and key civil servants.
  • To represent Dorset LEP and the wider business community on other Strategic Boards as appropriate.
  • Reflect the agreed policies of the Dorset LEP Board and its members in all discussions with partners, stakeholders, local and central Government and its agencies.
  • Ensure that Dorset LEP (including the Board) adheres at all times to high standards of ethics and governance in public life and is an exemplar to other organisations.
  • Ensure that all Board members participate actively in the work of the Board, encouraging their attendance and engagement and keeping regular contact with all members.
  • Exercise the casting vote in Dorset LEP Board decisions if circumstances so
  • To work closely with the Director, to ensure that there is a unified and coherent approach to all matters, that fully utilises the available expertise.
  • To support the Director in ensuring the organisation is run effectively and efficiently in order that it can continue to deliver its strategic objectives to support the Dorset LEP area.

Experience and Attributes


  • You will have first-hand knowledge and current experience of the local Dorset business environment through a strong and proven track record of business leadership at a senior level in the private sector.
  • You will be able to demonstrate a portfolio career, with an understanding of the challenges of leading an organisation and experience of providing strategic leadership on a Board of a significant business.
  • You will be able to deal well with ambiguity and be able to work in an uncertain environment.
  • You will have demonstrable experience of working with both local and national government bodies and the private sector at a senior level; including liaising with politicians and government ministers.
  • You will have an established reputation and a public profile and make a significant contribution to this partnership using your network of well-connected decision makers.
  • You will have the ability to create strong links with the Dorset business community and the ability to build coalitions to leverage private sector involvement.
  • You will have substantial experience and understanding of structuring effective working relationships with the private sector in local, regional, national and international forums.
  • You will possess a strong political acumen with a clear understanding of local and national politics to help promote Dorset LEP at the highest level.
  • You will be an experienced Director with outstanding organisational skills and an impressive portfolio of key achievements.
  • You will have experience of working in multi-faceted partnerships.
  • You will have well developed chairmanship skills and a track record in delivering the objectives of complex organisations and Boards.
  • You will have an understanding of the economic challenges facing Dorset and how private- sector-led growth can contribute to meeting them.
  • You will have an understanding of what ‘good governance’ embodies in a regulated public sector environment gained through working with HM Government or the wider public sector.


  • As Chair you will demonstrate a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Dorset LEP and a clear strategic vision for the future.
  • You will have the ability to make informed, balanced and independent judgements on key economic issues for Dorset ensuring value for money is achieved.
  • You will have the ability to consider the long-term implications and broad view of issues, identifying opportunities and key risks.
  • You will possess a successful track record of quickly building credibility in both the private and public sectors.
  • You will be a strong communicator, confident when speaking in public, with a clear and concise delivery.
  • You will be able to inspire those around you through your energy and enthusiasm and be innovative in your approach to tackles issues and offer solutions.
  • You will be determined to achieve the aims of Dorset LEP through a collaborative style, listening to often conflicting viewpoints and priorities and with an eye on strategic opportunities.

Additional Information

Please download the Chair Recruitment pack provided for more information on the time commitment; period of appointment; our key stakeholders; remuneration and support.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the facilitator of this advertisement but NOT the appointing body. The appointing body is the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

How to Apply

Please apply by sending your CV and a covering letter via More information on how to apply can be found in the Chair Recruitment Pack enclosed.

  • Closing date: Monday 26 October 2020 at 10am
  • Interviews: Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 November 2020

The successful candidate will attend the Board meeting on Thursday 26 November 2020.

For further information please visit or for an informal and confidential conversation about the role, please contact Gary Evans on 0113 205 6080 or Delicia Coutinho on 020 7426 3962 of GatenbySanderson.


Chair Recruitment Pack - Dorset LEP

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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