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MP meets new head of Cumbria LEP and champions the rural economy

Rory Stewart MP and Jo Lappin

[R]ory Stewart MP has met with the new Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to advocate for the unique needs of the Penrith and the Border constituency. He emphasised that the LEP must find solutions that work, not only for the West Coast of Cumbria but also for the rural economy of East and North Cumbria. They discussed the urgent need for better broadband, for support to rural businesses, and for a bolder tourism strategy that could provide much higher quality offers, and higher incomes.

Jo Lappin, who was previously the Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, took over from Graham Haywood earlier this month and will be the new head of Cumbria’s strategic economic body.

Speaking about her appointment Jo said: “I am delighted to be joining the Cumbria LEP to support the development of Cumbria’s Industrial Strategy, which provides a really important opportunity to address Cumbria’s economic opportunities and challenges and make sure that all of our businesses and people benefit.  I am very much looking forward to working closely with Cumbria’s MPs to drive forward our economic growth and ensure that Cumbria emerges as one of the best performing LEPs in the country.”

Rory Stewart said: “I am thrilled with Jo’s appointment and am very much looking forward to working with her over the coming years to make sure that Penrith and The Border fulfills its economic potential. Cumbria has an incredibly diverse economy and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to our economic needs, but I am confident that with a thoughtful, experienced leader like Jo at the helm, we can ensure that the unique challenges of each constituency are addressed in a way which is proportionate and sustainable and which ultimately benefits each and every Cumbrian community.”

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