EDP Business Awards 2017: Former LEP chairman given special recognition for contribution to county's economy
A former regional leader who helped secures millions of pounds of investment for East Anglia was honoured with the Special Recognition accolade at the EDP Business Awards 2017.
Mark Pendlington, who stepped down as chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in September, received the inaugural award from EDP editor David Powles.
Mr Pendlington oversaw a period of growth across Norfolk and Suffolk in which the LEP connected businesses with government funding and helped carve the region’s place on the economic map.
During his three-and-a-half years at the helm, the organisation estimates to have created 43,500 jobs, 5,700 new businesses, 18,850 homes and pulled £267.2m of private investment into the region.
Those successes include securing the £1.4bn new Great Eastern Mainline franchise as well as channelling investment to projects such as Norwich’s Aviation Academy, Easton and Otley College’s construction centre and East Coast College’s energy skills centre.
Mr Pendlington was magnanimous in success, saying his award was “recognition for all the people and business who work hard for the Norfolk economy”.
“I am thrilled to bits, but it is really for everyone who works hard for our economy,” he said.
Of his time at the LEP, he said: “It has been the most amazing time and the most incredibly privilege to make that contribution, but I have been fronted by some of the most amazing senior people – in local government, business and elsewhere.
“Everybody has pulled together on the project of what the LEP is about and we have achieved things on the world stage, showing what our economy is all about.
“We have proved that Norwich and Norfolk can really go places and that this is just the beginning.”
Mr Pendlington is group director of Anglian Water and was appointed as chair of governors at Easton and Otley College in August.
The Special Recognition award celebrates someone who has made a contribution deserving of recognition from the wider business community, for example raising the profile of Norfolk on the regional and national stage or ensuring conditions which allow the county’s firms to thrive.