GFirst LEP appoints Neill Ricketts to Board of Directors

GFirst LEP today announced the appointment of Neill Ricketts to the GFirst LEP Board of Directors. The appointment is effective from the beginning of July 2013.

Neill Ricketts is the Chief Executive Officer of Versarien. Specialising in the application of a patented manufacturing process for developing and supplying advanced engineering solutions to leading multinational firms, Versarien is a high technology company based in Cinderford in the Forest of Dean.

As an active Ambassador of GFirst LEP and a member of the Advanced Engineering Group, Neill is passionate about sharing his expertise to enthuse and inspire others. To help address the recognised skill shortage in engineering in Gloucestershire, Neill plays an active role in promoting employment and apprenticeship opportunities in the Forest of Dean. Last year, he was heavily involved in a Forest of Dean Career’s Fair to help recruit and retain talent to the area.

Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer, Versarien said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of GFirst LEP. I see this is a privilege and a brilliant opportunity to make progressive change for growing Gloucestershire. I’m joining the board at a pivotal and exciting time when we are putting together the Growth Plan to secure tens of millions of pounds of funding to invest in flagship projects that will drive growth across the county, one of them being to ensure young people across the county have the right skills they need to get jobs or follow a chosen career path.”

David Owen, Chief Executive, GFirst LEP said: “Neill is joining us at a critical time when we are creating our plan for growth to achieve our vision that by 2022 Gloucestershire will have world-class companies, a diverse portfolio and a reputation for starting and growing great businesses.” “His input to the Strategic Growth Plan right now will be vital to help us gain the support and influence from the business community in how we secure Government and EU funding to underpin our three flagship projects. I believe these will be instrumental in generating new jobs and new opportunities for the county by ensuring we have the right skills in place; that Gloucestershire has the right road and rail infrastructure with high-quality and fast broadband services and that the county is promoted as the as the place to live, work and invest in to do business.”

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