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Chair and Deputy Chair appointed to new Liverpool City Region Business and Enterprise Board

  • David Meyerowitz, Haier Europe CEO, is appointed Chair of new Business and Enterprise Board
  • Ruth Hartnoll, Matchstick Creative CEO, is appointed Deputy Chair
  • New Business and Enterprise Board to bring business voice closer to the Liverpool City Region’s economic policy-making

An international business leader and a rising star of the local creative industries have been appointed as Chair and Deputy Chair of the new Liverpool City Region Business and Enterprise Board.

David Meyerowitz brings 40 years of high-level experience of the domestic appliance market to the role of Chair of the new board.

David is CEO of Haier Europe, part of Haier Smart Home, a leading global household appliance manufacturer, which owns household brands such as Hoover and Candy. Originally from Chiswick, David lives on the Wirral.

And Ruth Hartnoll has been appointed Deputy Chair of the new board. A former member of the city region’s Digital and Creative sector board, Ruth is CEO of Matchstick Creative, which she co-founded in 2018.

Matchstick Creative is a Liverpool-based B Corp certified creative agency, which is the marketing partner of local organisations including Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Hemsec, the University of Liverpool and Growth Platform.

The new Business and Enterprise Board’s key role is to provide a voice for business in the Liverpool City Region.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Thriving local businesses are the backbone of our economy and, for our area to flourish, we need to help them to succeed. I want the Liverpool City Region to be the home of ‘good’ business and I’m really looking forward to working with David and Ruth, who both bring a wealth of experience with them, to see where the Board takes us on our journey to make our area the best place in the country to live, work and run a business in.”

Speaking about his appointment, David Meyerowitz said:

“I am both delighted and proud to be appointed as the Chair of the new Business and Enterprise Board for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. This is an exciting opportunity to combine my 40 years of private sector business experience with my passion for the Liverpool City Region.

“The new Board will be a high-level leadership group, with excellent representation from a wide variety of businesses and sectors. Our objective will be to capture and interpret the ‘voice of business’ from the region to help formulate relevant and effective strategic plans for the Combined Authority to consider. Our priority is to identify opportunities to stimulate economic growth, productivity and competitiveness in the Liverpool City Region, whilst supporting clear ambitions for inclusive growth and sustainability.”

Speaking about her appointment, Ruth Hartnoll, said:

“After serving for three years on the Digital and Creative Board for the Liverpool City Region, I’m excited to bring what I’ve learnt in that role to my Deputy Chair position. My focus is always on creating a fairer, more equitable business landscape. With gender parity now present across our boards and the desire to build a fairer, stronger, cleaner city region, our collaborative team has the chance to shake things up in the best way. We’re here to question what has come before and create a more hopeful future.”

Councillor Mike Wharton, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Business, said:

“The new Business and Enterprise Board will play a key role in ensuring that our local business community is able to influence the Combined Authority’s economic development work in the years to come. Finding the right leadership for the new board is really important and I’m so pleased that we have appointed David and Ruth as chair and deputy chair. They bring complementary knowledge, experience and skills and I’m sure they will successfully drive the work of this vital new body.”

Bringing the business voice directly into the Combined Authority’s policy-making processes will enable it to work more closely and directly with businesses, especially those in industry clusters that will be of critical importance to the future success of the city region economy.

Following a national review of the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Combined Authority was required by government to integrate the functions of the LEP into its own governance structure.

Since the creation of the Combined Authority, several LEP-related functions, such as setting local economic priorities and leading on economic growth and job creation, have already moved across to the Authority.

Under plans approved by the Combined Authority in April this year, the new Business and Enterprise Board has been set up within the Combined Authority as a key means of engaging with the local business community.

The Combined Authority is in the process of finalising the make-up of the Business and Enterprise Board, to ensure representation from priority industry sectors in the city region as well as wider business representation.

Board representation will be ensured for key industry cluster chairs, Higher and Further Education, social economy, and the Liverpool Visitor Economy Partnership. Further representation will be sought from other significant business sectors, such as port and maritime logistics, professional and business services, third sector and built environment.

The Combined Authority is also now seeking recognised business leaders in three key sectors – advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences and the digital and creative industries – to volunteer their expertise and time as members of new cluster boards.

The three new cluster boards will cover advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences and the digital and creative industries, in recognition of key strengths and growth opportunities for the LCR economy as evidenced in the city region’s Plan for Prosperity. Cluster boards will be able to set up task groups to address issues affecting the performance and competitiveness of the sector and wider LCR economy.

The Business and Enterprise Board and cluster boards will typically be composed of 14 members broadly representing the LCR geography but with the flexibility to co-opt members to plug gaps in areas of expertise, local geography or to ensure greater diversity.

In all cases, the Combined Authority will endeavour to ensure that the new boards reflect communities across the city region, including a commitment to achieve gender balance (50% of seats on boards will be for women) on all boards.