Meet the LLEP team

Click through to meet the LLEP team…

An org. chart is also available to view below.

The LLEP Team

Abdul Bathin
Andy Rose
Anna Cyhan
Ayan Haron
Brendon Brockway
Cheryl Maguire
David Wright
Deepa Shah
Elizabeth Botmeh
Fiona Baker
Jackie Ledger
Jay Lad
Mandip Rai
Marcin Szymanski
Mary-Louise Harrison
Mike Durban
Saahera Mahomed
Sabine Pavule
Sue Tilley
Sumaya Jamaale
Tiffany Freeman

Abdul Bathin

Senior Enterprise Co-ordinator

I started my career at the tender age of 16 in financial services, 11 years later I made the daunting jump to work within the skills sector. Past roles include managing the business development team at South Leicestershire College, project managing and developing Leicester City Council’s flagship Apprenticeship Hub and creating Leicestershire Textiles Hub with Pera Training, you could call me the ‘hub developing expert’.

I joined the LLEP team in Nov 2015 as an Enterprise Coordinator. A newly created role connecting business leaders with schools and colleges. In short, I am responsible for developing a high performing Enterprise Adviser network which aims to improve and embed enterprise activities within education. The Enterprise Adviser Network Programme is heavily supported by Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, so no pressure on performance!

Career highlights

 My first year at Swinton Insurance, I won an award for consultant of the year, I still have the medal to prove it!  During the last 6 years I have helped 100’s of young people secure employment or apprenticeships, that’s really where my passion lies!

Head banging moments
As a Trainee Insurance Consultant (my first ‘proper’ job), I managed to flood the kitchen of our newly refurbished offices, NOT once but twice!! I spent most of my late 20’s working with ‘at-risk’ young people and ex-offenders, I tried to establish a no swearing rule, it’s fair to say after that, I was the one ‘at-risk’!!

Andy Rose

Economic Strategy Manager (Place)

With over thirty years’ of working in economic development in eleven posts I have undertaken most disciplines within the regeneration field. This experience includes: developing economic strategies; heading up 13 vocational training units (which included a farm and equestrian facility) which employed 111 staff and provided 700 places for young people and adults; managing multi million pound investment programmes; hosting inward and leading overseas and trade missions.

Current role: I joined the LLEP at its inception and I am currently the Economic Strategy Manager (Place). This includes managing a £13m revolving loan fund; overseeing the transport infrastructure investment in our £100m Growth Deal; representing the LLEP on a number of local and regional transport bodies; being sector lead for Tourism & Hospitality.

Career highlights: Playing a fairly critical role in financing the new build at Donington Park to accommodate the global HQ of Formula E and provide the workshop and test facilities for the 10 international FE racing teams. The build had to commence at risk, before Formula E had confirmed Donington as their preferred location, and against an incredibly tight deadline for completion and handover. A few sleepless nights on this one – but worth it as it represents an important investment, on many levels, for the LLEP area.

Head-banging moments: Too many to mention, but then ‘success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’

Anna Cyhan

Economic Growth and Investment Officer (People)

I’ve got several years’ experience of working on skills relating to careers advice, schools, project management, apprenticeships, events and training in both the public and private sector.

I joined the LLEP on a full-time basis in June 2013 after several years at Connexions working to help young people into education, employment or training.

Current role: Lots of variety linked to skills: the labour market, schools, the Skills Show, apprenticeships, marketing, employer engagement, PR, skills events, resources, People Board support. Link to Vice Principals group, Careers for the Future Network (schools careers leads).

Career highlights: Raising £5k for BT charity campaign; achieving my business degree whilst working full time; project success in moving unemployed young people into work experience or jobs-very rewarding! And the L Factor in 2014 of course!

Head-Banging moments: I organised an NHS apprenticeship recruitment event at Connexions a while ago and expected maybe a hundred people. Several hundred turned up all at once. People could not get into the building and were pushing and queueing down the street- it was frantic,  like a One Direction concert! Additional colleagues supported to calm the mayhem and luckily it went smoothly thereafter.

Ayan Haron

Graduate Project Officer

Brendon Brockway

Economic Intelligence Officer

After completing my undergraduate and post-graduate studies (at De Montfort and the University of Leicester) I started work in a local government setting. Roles undertaken have varied but nearly all have had their foundations in research and performance and been based within an economic/social or physical regeneration setting. I joined the LLEP in 2012.

Current role: as Economic Intelligence Officer it can be varied, but mainly relates to research and intelligence and the management, breakdown, understanding and communication of data. My work informs the management information and decision making process and provides an understanding of how the LLEP performs.

Career highlights: I have been lucky in my career as I have been allowed to use and build upon those skills that were learned at university. These have put these to good use in a local enterprise partnership setting. I have also been able to work in partnership with a variety of people from the public, private and third sectors, allowing me to build networks and relationships with other like-minded research professionals.

Head-banging moments: The list is long but includes, meeting Tony Blair, finding out at Schiphol airport that Barry Scott from the Cillit Bang adverts is an actor and getting stuck in a lift with a senior official from Leicester City Council.

Cheryl Maguire

Enterprise Zone Coordinator

I’ve been involved in partnership working within the public sector since 2004, beginning with a road safety awareness project with Leicestershire County Council. I then moved into economic development, working at the East Midlands China Business Bureau (employed by the former RDA: EMDA), and going on to join the Multi-Area Agreement team at Leicester City Council – which became the LLEP in 2011.

During 2011, I moved to London, had a break from the public sector and went to work for The Kennel Club (yes, I love dogs!). Having recently moved back to Leicester, I am very pleased to be back with the LLEP once again.

Current role: I started this role in July 2015 providing support to Andy (Rose), the Place Board, and the LLEP as a whole with the delivery of strategic local projects and funding programmes.

Career highlights: I don’t think anything will ever beat standing on stage with the Queen while she presented awards at an event I had helped to organise at Sandringham. This outdoor event had taken place in January and we’d all been knee deep in snow for 2 days. It had been very hard going and the Queen’s presence lifted everyone and ended things on a real high.

Head-banging moments: To name but two…Trying to retain the interest of a visiting Chinese delegation in a business match-making event when all they really wanted to do was go shopping; keeping around 100 people waiting to start an event whilst the Chairman of The Kennel Club drove me the hour’s journey back to the hotel to collect the walkie-talkies I had managed to forget.

David Wright

Head of Programme Delivery

Rounding on 8 years in Local Government, I’ve worked across a number of departments including Neighbourhood Management, Children’s Services, Corporate Policy and Economic Development.

I have a BA in History and Ancient History from University of Nottingham and an MSC in Public Leadership and Management from Warwick University.

I started my career in Cheshire, moving to Blackburn to join the National Graduate Development Programme. I subsequently worked for 4 years for the sub-regional economic development company operating business support and regeneration schemes across Lancashire. I moved from up North in 2013 to join Leicester City Council’s Economic Development section as a Business Investment Manager.

Current role: I joined the LLEP in January 2015 as Economic Strategy Manager; heading up the development of the Growth Hub for Leicester and Leicestershire – LLEP Business Gateway.

Career Highlights: Working with some great companies – some big name brands and others small family firms – but each with a great passion for their business, and for my part being able to help them navigate the sometimes ‘difficult’ and confusing bits of business support; ultimately helping them to secure investment and achieve their plans for growth.

Head-banging moments: Bohemian Rhapsody

Deepa Shah

Economic Intelligence Officer (Business Gateway)

After completing my degree in 2006 I have taken on a number of roles in various areas working within both private and public sector. I joined the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership in 2012 and have worked on a number of projects including the MIRA Academy and Regional Growth Fund.

Current role: I work with the newly formed Business Gateway team to provide a ‘one stop shop’ business support service to local businesses. My role involves providing back office technical support including the CRM system, web development and performance outputs so that the Gateway has the systems in place to develop and expand as it becomes a widely used business support services across Leicester & Leicestershire.

Career highlights: Working on a multi-million pound project and successfully helping a number of businesses secure much needed grants enabling them to bring their projects forward, grow & expand their business and securing investment into the City; successfully delivering the MIRA Academy, a training and education centre that aims to further develop the skills of existing MIRA staff and support future generations of engineers and technicians; driving around the Proving Ground at MIRA Technology Park in a ‘Supercar’ – fantastic experience!

Head banging moments: As part of a dance group we were asked to perform at a corporate event for the NHS. The performance was going really well until…… the lights went out! We carried on dancing and pretended it was part of the routine – the crowd were none the wiser!

Elizabeth Botmeh

Contracts Manager

After graduating  a Bachelor of Law degree from DeMontfort University, I got a job supporting start up businesses with Frontline Training (running start up training courses). After this, I went to the Adult Education Department at Leicester City Council where I stayed until I joined the LLEP in 2014.

Current role: I am responsible for monitoring all the LLEP’s grant programmes, making sure the money is defrayed, contracts are adhered to and everything complies with State Aid regulations

Career Highlights: Winning a SAFTA award for ‘Services to the community’ for setting up a food bank whilst working in Adult Education.

Head-banging moments: Whilst talking to the Queen’s Representative (Lady Jennifer Gretton – the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire) at the Diamond Jubilee Award presentation, a member of the public standing next to me was simultaneously talking with her mouth full and spitting food all over me. This was marginally annoying to say the least, but I remained professional and calm throughout, despite wanting to take other unmentionable action!

Fiona Baker

Economic Strategy Manager (People)

I came to Leicester to study at University and never left.  Since my first ‘proper job’, at Leicester Urban Studies Centre, my career has centred on skills training and employer engagement in Leicester and Leicestershire.  I spent a number of years working for Leicestershire Training and Enterprise Council and Leicestershire Learning and Skills Council on programmes including Investors in People, Train to Gain and Apprenticeships.  For the last eight years I held senior management roles at South Leicestershire College and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College focussing on Employer Partnerships and Apprenticeships.

Career Highlight: making a contribution to the development of Apprenticeships – from a funding perspective at the Learning and Skills Council and then through being involved in direct delivery at Colleges I have seen huge increases in the public perception of apprenticeships and the number of employers and young people engaged and I am very proud to have been part of that.

Head Banging Moment:  well, there was the time when I heard a colleague gasping and struggling for breath.  Clearly, she was choking to death, so I rushed over and gave her the Heimlich manoeuvre.  However, I was a little confused as to why she kept trying to pull my hands off her when I was trying to save her life.  Turns out she had a chest infection and was not in fact choking at all.

Jackie Ledger

Communications Manager

I am a business development manager, communications and project co-ordinator with experience in conferencing, hospitality and general business support in a wide range of industry sectors. I have a proven track record in sales generation, account management, event management and communications.

I joined the LLEP Business Gateway team in January 2015 after enjoying 7 years at the Chamber of Commerce where the majority of my time was spent working on business support contracts and projects. Prior to that I spent 12 years working in the conference and events sector of the hospitality industry.

Current Role: This is an exciting time for the LLEP and I am delighted to become the Communications Manager from June 2017.  There will be a lot to talk about including Enterprise Zones, Midlands Engine, ESIF funded support, Growth Deal, Midlands Connect, Investing in Leicester and much more.

Career Highlights: Awarded Business Development Manager of the Year. Winning a BMW convertible to drive for every month I was top performer. Spending a weekend on a 110ft luxury motor yacht in the south of France with the sales team as a thank you for our achievements.  Absailing from the Holiday Inn Leicester roof twice!

Head Banging moments: using a GPS to find client premises and ending up somewhere else as the postcode does not match the location of the building. No mobile signal to call them! Grrrrrrr – frustrating!

Jay Lad

ESIF Events Officer

I’ve worked for the local government for the last 20 years within the Human Resources Department.  My Experience includes designing and delivering creative and responsive training, learning and development solutions across the organisation. Managed, developed, designed and delivered Recruitment and Job Evaluation programme to all service managers across the organisation and  implemented change management programmes throughout  school, colleges and universities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland .

I graduated at De Montfort University with Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) and post-graduate qualification in Human Resources – Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD

Current Role

I’m new to the team and my role is to co‐ordinate, organise and oversee the delivery of the communication and engagement functions of the LLEP’s European Structural Investment Fund ﴾ESIF﴿ and to support the wider LLEP team by delivering a range of internal and external events – exciting stuff!

Career Highlights

Delivering training to people from all different walks of life – entertaining, heartfelt and fun times!

Head banging moments

Recently I was watching England play football against Germany and winning the world cup, everyone in the room was ecstatic, cheering and clapping so I was doing the same… little did I know they were watching a video clip from 1966!

Mandip Rai

LLEP Director

With over 20 years economic development experience including senior roles with local authorities in Leicester and Leicestershire since 1998, I was appointed Head of LLEP in 2010 to lead the formation of the partnership. A qualified town planner with a post graduate degree in Local Economic Development, I started my career at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with the Invest in Britain Bureau (IBB) to attract inward investment to London.

Current Role: I was appointed as Director of the LLEP in October 2016. Prior to this I was Head of Strategy & Engagement where I led the team responsible for engaging local and national partners and stakeholders and for developing and implementing our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

Career Highlights: Leading on the formation of the LLEP – recognised by Government as one of the highest performing LEPs in the country; leading the Leicester & Leicestershire Multi Area Agreement which was signed by the former Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, in 2009.

Head-banging moments: Two over excitable young children and an overactive dog – every day there’s a different head-banging moment.

Marcin Szymanski

Project Officer

After completing my BA in Philosophy I knew that becoming a philosopher wasn’t the right path for me (although I really enjoyed the subject), so I decided to do a couple of internships to find a suitable career path. I was lucky enough to get a good mix of experience from public, private, and third sector organisations. I really enjoyed working for one of the leading think-tanks in Poland and so I decided to pursue my career in public policy. During my Bachelor’s course I spent one semester as an exchange student in Oslo, Norway. To say the least, I left a bit of my soul there. After that I knew that I should get a degree from some Western university and after browsing dozens of curriculums, I decided to go to Nottingham, to do my Master’s in Public Policy there.

Current Role: I started working at the LLEP in January 2016, after graduating from the University of Nottingham. At the beginning I was providing governance support and helping with the review of the Local Assurance Framework. In my current role I support delivery of LLEP programmes and help with wider activities and communications.

Career Highlight: Securing a first, “proper” job after graduation is definitely something I’m very proud of, giving fierce competition on the labour market. The LLEP Team has been very welcoming to me and I really appreciate the opportunity to gain relevant experience in public policy sector. Apart from that, I was also an intern at the Government Information Centre during Donald Tusk’s premiership, who is now the President of the European Council. I was really surprised to see how short he is…

Head Banging Moment: One day there was a fight between football hooligans on some beach in Poland, and the Head of the Government Information Centre anticipated that the press could start grilling the PM about tackling football vandalism during his press conference the following day. I was given a task of writing a short memo on how the issue was dealt with in other European countries. It wouldn’t be too difficult if only the job didn’t land on my desk just 5 minutes before the press conference… I quickly googled information and prepared a short briefing on the Football Spectators Act 1989 enacted by Thatcher’s government. Luckily for me (and the Prime Minister) journalists found the subject rather boring and didn’t ask any question about it.

Mary-Louise Harrison

European Funding Manager

I have a great deal of experience in all things European having started at Leicester City Council 17 years ago in their newly established European Office.

I have managed a number of strategically important European projects and Programmes including the 3-Cities Territorial Employment Pact and Leicester’s £28m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme 2007-13.

In addition I have a great deal of experience in working on and establishing business-related initiatives including Leicester’s £8m Business Support Programme funded through ERDF and setting up the highly successful Business Support Network which is regularly attended by over 50 business support providers across Leicester & Leicestershire.

Current role: Currently seconded into the LLEP as the Acting ESIF Co-ordinator to lead on the LLEP’s £111m European Structural & Investment Funds Programme 2014-20.

Career highlights: Securing ESIF for Leicester for the first time in 1999; doing a joint presentation with (at the time) Rt Hon David Blunkett; living and working all over Europe for over 10 years.

Head-banging moments: liaising between UK Government and the EU commission directorates. Anyone who has ever had to, will appreciate my pain.

Mike Durban

Head of Strategy

Born and raised in Leicester, I read history at the Universities of London and Oxford.

From 2004 to 2009 I worked as a programme manager at the Greater Nottingham Partnership, one of seven sub-regional strategic partnerships established by the East Midlands Development Agency. During my five years at the GNP I developed and managed a wide range of regeneration projects in a number of different sectors, including rural affairs, the environment, tourism, innovation and business support.

In 2009 I was seconded to Nottingham City Council to manage the city’s Local Area Agreement before I then joined the Council’s economic development service on a permanent basis. Over the past three years I have worked in various economic development roles in Nottingham. These have included developing the city’s Growth Plan, delivering a £10m business support programme and establishing a new bidding and funding unit to secure additional sources of external funding.

Current Role

I joined LLEP as the Economic Strategy Manager for People in October 2015 and currently act as the lead officer for employment and skills. This includes managing LLEP’s European Social Fund programme and the Enterprise Coordinator.

Career Highlights

Helping Nottingham’s Creative Quarter Company to win the Improving the Business Environment category of the 2015 Enterprising Britain Awards and the Improving the Business Environment category of the 2015 European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

Head-Banging Moments
Watching England play Wales in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Saahera Mahomed

Enterprise Co-ordinator

Bio to follow

Sabine Pavule

Admin and Business Support Apprentice

I am working with a newly formatted Business Gateway team, as a Business Administrator Apprentice. I am involved in large variety of work.

Career Highlight: I started my career path in fashion photography and after a while I did a big jump and now I am leading myself into the business industry.

Head Banging Moment: Realising that your cat is a male after 3 years of thinking it’s a female, sadly can’t change his name now.

Sue Tilley

Economic Strategy Manager (Business)

As a young mum, I started a business with a friend, designing and making a range of ladies wear, sold through party plans, ultimately opening two retail outlets ‘Classy Rags’. We opened a factory to design, manufacture and supply bespoke corporate clothing to major blue chip companies both nationally and overseas, growing the business from £Zero to £2.5m. With customers such as EuroDisney, Stena Line, Debenhams, Connex, Toyota, Ford, Holiday Inns and First Group there was never a dull moment.

After 17 years we successfully sold the business to one of the UK’s largest private sector investors. Another exciting ten years in textiles followed as Design Director, Business Development director.

I have been working in Inward Investment and economic development since 2008.

Current Role: For the last two years have been responsible for the £21m regional growth fund grant scheme. Working with businesses who are investing in their businesses and creating jobs has been a huge privilege. My role is varied, fast paced, and rewarding, brokering engagement and working with Leicester/shire’s diverse and confident business community.

Career Highlights: Growing and selling my business; as an SME, winning Toyota MUK contract against all odds; Winning British Midland Diamond Service Award; successfully working with the RGF team to deliver the LLEP RGF programme helping to secure major inward investment for the City.

Head banging moment: During an important sales pitch to a very high profile board on a cross channel ferry having to make a sharp exit due to the heavy seas. Returned green faced to complete the presentation to a round of applause! And yes we did get the contract!

Sumaya Jamaale

Graduate Project Officer

Bio to follow

Tiffany Freeman

Marketing and Communications Officer

I spent three years at the University of Lincoln and achieved a 2:1 in Investigative Journalism, which is the only BA in the country.

In my second year, I went on the Erasmus programme and studied documentary making at the University of Windesheim in Zwolle, Holland. I lived in The Netherlands for six months and worked with other international students. It was a fantastic experience and I made friends from all over the world!

Current Role: I joined the LLEP team in November 2014 as a graduate marketing communications officer and have since secured a post as Marketing & Communications Officer. I’m involved in running the twitter account, writing press releases, researching, helping to organise events, following media coverage, advertising and PR. I thoroughly enjoy the role!

Career Highlight: My graduation is a moment that I am most proud of because it was a celebration of three years of hard work. Graduating with my friends and family by my side made it a day to remember.

Head Banging Moment: On my induction day at the University of Windesheim in Holland, I led my friend to the University having done a dummy run the day before. However, we got lost – very lost – and somehow ended up in a forest!  After having to read Dutch signs (which was confusing) and asking a lot of Dutch people, we got there in the end – but missed the induction.

Downloads

LLEP Team Structure- July 2017 (187.28 KB)