Roger Marsh, chair of the Piece Hall Trust has been hailed as having made a significant difference to economic growth across the North
Mr Marsh, who is also the Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Chair of NP11, which features the 11 heads of the LEPs in the North of England, is to be knighted by the Queen, is credited with paving the way for devolution, as a driving force behind campaigns to bring Channel 4 to Leeds, and in the regeneration of Halifax’s landmark Piece Hall, an 18th century former cloth hall.
Privileged and humbled, he said he hopes to see this not as a personal achievement but as an opportunity to change narratives and to champion the North as a key component of global Britain.
“Maybe this will be a signal, beyond just me, but of the importance of our part of the world and what we’ve been doing,” he said.
“There are huge examples of success.
“For me, the biggest privilege is being able to be constructive, I hope, as well as campaigning and advocating. Good growth looks like good lives for everybody.”
As Chair of the LEP, Roger played a leading role in securing the £1 billion Growth Deal with Government in 2014, the largest agreement of its kind.
The funding has supported a range of projects and programmes designed to contribute to an overall ambition of unlocking the City Region’s potential to be the growth engine for the North and rebalancing the nation’s economy.
It is estimated that Growth Deal has generated at least £4 of private investment and £10 in added value in the economy for every £1 of public money spent through it.
Roger has been widely acknowledged by the North’s business community as an invaluable bridge between the public and private sectors and an ambassador for the region.
He has been central in West Yorkshire’s continuing development as an attractive location for investment, which has seen the region become one of the top 10 in the country for national and international direct inward investment.
In a joint statement, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire’s Leaders, said: “Roger Marsh has made a huge contribution to businesses and communities across West Yorkshire, the wider Leeds City Region and the North over many years and the award of his knighthood is a well-deserved recognition for his work. We are so delighted for him to receive this honour.
“Roger has not just been a prolific advocate for our region, both nationally and internationally, but many civic and business leaders will recognise him as a trusted mentor, advisor and colleague, driving investment and encouraging talent into our Northern towns and cities. This award is a testament to the progress that West Yorkshire and its people have made over the last decade with his unwavering support.”