ENTERPRISE M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced that its chairman will be stepping down after getting a civil service appointment.

Dr Mike Short, CBE has recently been appointed as the chief scientific adviser to the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Mr Short’s new role as a civil servant means that he can no longer continue as the LEP’s chairman as he no longer meets the criteria of working in the private sector – a requirement for leading a LEP.

Mr Short, pictured, will remain on the Enterprise M3 board where he will continue to champion his interests in science and technology and work with businesses and fellow board members to improve productivity and growth within the economy.

Mr Short said: “I have really enjoyed my role as the chairman of such a high-performing LEP over the last four months and delighted to have seen us launch our consultation on a local industrial strategy to push-ahead with the LEP’s priorities.

“It is vital that the board is chaired by an influential leader from the private sector, reflecting the government’s and our clear wish that the private sector play a key role in shaping our future economy. I am pleased to be staying on the board.”

A replacement for the chairman will be sought in January, along with three new private sector board members, while Mr Short will remain as chairman until March to allow for a smooth transition.

Mr Short has been on the board of Enterprise M3 LEP since 2014, but became chairman in August 2017. He played a key role in driving the LEP’s agenda for a strong digital economy to support innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

Kathy Slack, executive director of Enterprise M3 said: “It is disappointing to see Mike step down as our chairman after such a short time. He is an inspirational leader with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the technology sector.

“He has opened my eyes and others to the vast opportunities that new technology will bring to all our lives and the economy.

“His experience, industry contacts and vast business insights will continue to be great assets to Enterprise M3.”