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Cumbria LEP welcomes new board members to its team

Nigel Wilkinson and John Coughlan

[C]umbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the county’s strategic economic body, has appointed two new private sector board members with strong track records of leadership in the tourism and manufacturing sectors.

Nigel Wilkinson, the managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises and John Coughlan, the managing director of Workington based TSP Engineering, have joined the board following a rigorous recruitment process.

George Beveridge, Chair of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “Following an open recruitment process and consultation with our private sector advisory panel, we are pleased to welcome John and Nigel to the LEP board.

“Nigel has been involved in the county’s Visitor Economy sub group and development of the associated sector growth plan, until recently he was a director of Cumbria Tourism, and he chairs the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force.

“John has a long background in manufacturing and has worked successfully to secure the future of the former Corus facility in Workington as well as supporting Cumbria LEP with advanced manufacturing development.

“They both bring valuable expertise and experience to the role and will be strong additions to the board team.”

A graduate engineer and chartered accountant, Nigel Wilkinson has been managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Limited since 2004. He is also managing director of Winander Leisure Limited, a director of Winander Group Holdings Limited, Lakeland Motor Museum Limited, Rushbond plc and is chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force.

He served as a director of Cumbria Tourism for almost ten years, prior to his retirement at the 2017 Annual General Meeting.

Commenting on his board appointment, Nigel Wilkinson said:  “I am whole heartedly looking forward to working on Cumbria LEP’s board at a time of tremendous challenge and opportunity for both the rural and visitor economy and the county’s other key sectors.  It’s vital that Cumbria speaks with one voice and can make a unified case to central government.”

John Coughlan joined TSP Engineering in 2014 with overall responsibility for driving strategy, operations and continuous business improvement.  His career has taken him across Europe, Asia, North America and Mexico in senior non-executive and executive roles with in global organisations such as Aerly Bird Trans Global, UpRight, Celestica, ITW Avery Weightronics and Dianorm Teo.  He has also worked on a range of senior committees, enterprise boards and liaison groups.

“My focus on the board will be to deliver a voice for the private sector with a focus on supporting wealth creation for the region through the development of advanced manufacturing and skills necessary to support the advancement and creation of the talent pool,” said John Coughlan.

“The aim is to reinforce the opportunities that are present and forecasted for the region and I hope I will be able to positively affect the local dynamics of social and economic exclusion which can be eliminated through the development of the skills base across all sectors of the region’s economy.”

Mr Wilkinson and Mr Coughlan succeed former private sector board members Duncan Peake and Ian Robinson, both of whom recently moved out of the area to take up new posts.

Giles Archibald, Leader of South Lakeland District Council, Colin Glover, Leader of Carlisle City Council, and Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council also joined the Board earlier in the year.

George Beveridge adds: “Our thanks are due to Duncan and Ian for their hard work and commitment to the board during their respective tenures.  We wish them well in their new roles.

“Our new public sector board members Giles, Colin and Alan are already making valued contributions to the LEP’s work as we continue to address Cumbria’s economic priorities.”

For further details about Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, go to

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