Our Board

Rachael Randall, HTP Apprenticeship College
Chair
Rachael Randall, HTP Apprenticeship College
Chair

Register of Interest
Rachael Randall’s Register of Interest can be found here.

LEP Roles
Interim Chair, Equality and Diversity Lead, Member of Search Employment and Remuneration Committee

Sector
Further Education

Biography
Rachael is Principal and CEO of HTP Apprenticeship College Ltd which she established in the year 2000. Prior to that she was involved in Government funded training working for New Deal and a national apprenticeship provider. Her roots are also firmly based in the world of Hospitality, Tourism and Farming. She grew up on the Isle of Wight and has brought up 2 children and is married to Malcolm. She also owns Albert Cottage Hotel in East Cowes on the Island.

The role description for the LEP Chair is available here.

*Independent Non-Executive Director as outlined in the Corporate Governance Code 2018

Nick Loader, DP World Southampton and Solent Stevedores
Deputy Chair (and group audit committee chair)
Nick Loader, DP World Southampton and Solent Stevedores
Deputy Chair (and group audit committee chair)

Register of Interest
Nick Loader’s Register of Interest can be found here.

LEP Roles
Deputy Chair and Chair of Finance, Funding and Performance Management Group

Sector
Private sector representative

Biography

Nick is a Strategic Adviser to DP World’s UK businesses and is also a non-executive director of Solent Stevedores.

Nick graduated from the University of Bath in Economics and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

His first role in commerce was with McCarthy & Stone, builders of sheltered housing, but since then he has worked in the shipping and ports sector in various roles including for P&O Ferries Portsmouth and Carnival UK.

Nick joined DP World in 2005 as Finance Director in Southampton and in April 2016 he was appointed CEO of DP World Southampton.

Outside of work Nick plays squash and golf and enjoys walking

Jo Sawford, Airbus
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director (and group employment and remuneration committee chair)
Jo Sawford, Airbus
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director (and group employment and remuneration committee chair)

Register of Interest
Jo Sawford’s Register of Interest can be found here.

LEP roles
Chair of Search, Employment and Remuneration Committee

Biography
Jo Sawford is the Head of Payload Projects for Telecommunication Satellites within Airbus Defence & Space. She is accountable for the on-time, on-quality, on-cost delivery of the payload from Portsmouth.

Through her career, Jo has worked within the aerospace industry working within the aircraft and space perimeters. Having responsibility within the domains of commercial, contracts, sales, supply chain; now working within programme management. These roles have involved leading and working within transnational teams with a worldwide customer base in both military and civil markets.

In addition to this role, she also holds the post of Site Director. Jo has helped facilitate a positive improvement with the level of interaction between Airbus and the local community through activities such as Shaping Portsmouth, Pride@Portsmouth, “We can do it Awards” and also through extensive OUTREACH programmes including EBP South, Girls Network, UTC Portsmouth, Winchester Science Centre and local charities.

Jo passionately believes that in her position she has an opportunity to embrace change, encourage collaboration, and provide strategic direction for Airbus as a whole, as well as influencing the Company visibility in the Portsmouth area through support of local engagement. Jo’s work ethic is always to demonstrate commitment, support team-work, motivate a healthy working environment, as well as recognising potential growth and creativity of both individuals and teams.

Paula Swain, Shoosmiths
Chair of Solent Business Forum
Paula Swain, Shoosmiths
Chair of Solent Business Forum

Register of Interest
Paula Swain’s Register of Interest can be found here.

LEP Roles
Business Director*, SME Business Lead, Member of Search, Employment and Remuneration Committee

Sector
Private sector representative

Biography
Paula Swain is a Partner in national law firm Shoosmiths LLP, and heads the firm’s southernmost office located at the Solent Business Park.

Through her professional practice, Paula has access to a broad array of businesses operating in the Solent region, and a key part of her role as a Head of Office is to support and monitor the economy of the Solent region. Paula is particularly interested in how the development of 5G technology will assist the Solent region, together with new ventures from the region’s universities, smart manufacturing, maritime, aerospace and defence sectors.

A commercial litigator in her professional life, Paula is a supporting adviser and advocate for her clients across a broad range of disputes, and is a contributing author to Westlaw UK Insights. Paula read law at the University of Southampton, works in Whiteley and lives in Poole. She appreciates both the economic and lifestyle aspects of the Solent region. Paula is a passionate supporter for growth in the region.

*Independent Non-Executive Director as outlined in the Corporate Governance Code 2018

Richard Jones
Solent Partners Group Director Corporate Services and Operations
Richard Jones
Solent Partners Group Director Corporate Services and Operations

Register of Interest
Richard Jones’ Register of Interest can be found here

Biography
Richard was appointed Acting Chief Executive for the Solent LEP in August 2023. Having joined the Solent LEP in 2011, with the board still in shadow form, he has held a number of roles within the LEP including Head of Policy, Communications and Partner Engagement, Assistant Director of Corporate Governance and Communications and Deputy Chief Executive.

Richard leads the LEP’s operational delivery and is responsible for the overall investment programme, driving the development and transformation of the Solent LEP in its ambition to create a dynamic, vibrant, inclusive and internationally competitive region.

Richard holds two degrees; a BA in Media and Sociology from the University of London and an MA in Political Communications from Cardiff University. With the exception of time spent away at University, Richard has lived in the Solent region his entire life.

Stuart Baker
Solent Partners Group Director Business Development and Sector Growth
Stuart Baker
Solent Partners Group Director Business Development and Sector Growth

Stuart Baker is MD of Maritime UK Solent – the private sector led representative body for the Solent’s outstanding maritime sector. He is also an Executive Director at Solent Partners, leading work on economic strategy, skills, net zero, innovation, trade and investment, business support and sector development. Stuart is also an Executive Director at The Solent Cluster.

Our Team

Stuart Baker
Solent Partners Group Director – Business Development and Sector Growth
Stuart Baker
Solent Partners Group Director – Business Development and Sector Growth

u003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernrnStuart Baker is MD of Maritime UK Solent – the private sector led representative body for the Solent’s outstanding maritime sector. He is also an Executive Director at Solent Partners, leading work on economic strategy, skills, net zero, innovation, trade and investment, business support and sector development. Stuart is also an Executive Director at The Solent Cluster.

Lloyd Clark
Accountable Body Financial Lead, Portsmouth City Council
Lloyd Clark
Accountable Body Financial Lead, Portsmouth City Council

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernLloyd’s Register of Interest can be found here.

Kate Cloud
Head of Corporate Services and Performance
Kate Cloud
Head of Corporate Services and Performance

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernKate Cloud’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-kate-cloud-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003ernrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernKate joined the team as Local Growth Programme Manager: Capital and Infrastructure in September 2018. Since that time Kate has managed Local Growth Deal, Getting Building Fund and other small funding pots. Along with the Delivery team, Kate has developed a robust monitoring and reporting process to ensure beneficiaries and Board members alike understand how projects are progressing, and our role as funders.rnrnKate spent 16 years in local authority economic development teams supporting businesses directly as well as providing a voice for businesses within Councils.rnrnKate has a degree in Geography and Rural Planning from the University of Gloucestershire, and is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development. She has lived in Hampshire for much of her life and enjoys spending leisure time in the Solent region with her young family.

A photo of Eva Dragoeva
Eva Dragoeva
Marketing Communications Support
A photo of Eva Dragoeva
Eva Dragoeva
Marketing Communications Support

u003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernEva joined the team in February 2022, as Marketing Communications Support.rnrnEva has a background in fashion, higher education and sustainability. She graduated Fashion and Textiles with Enterprise from the University of Portsmouth in 2011.rnrnSince graduating, Eva has had various support roles including Lead Fashion Technical Support at the University of Portsmouth and Digital Customer Experience Support for Portsmouth City Council. Prior to joining the team, Eva was a self-employed designer.rnrnHer varied experience has given her many skills, which she uses in her current role as part of the Communications Team.

Photo of James Ford
James Ford
Head of Enterprise and Skills
Photo of James Ford
James Ford
Head of Enterprise and Skills

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernJames Ford’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-james-ford-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernJames joined the team in April 2018 as Business Engagement and Growth Hub Manager, and was appointed Head of Enterprise and Skills in 2021. Before joining Solent Partners James was Business Development Manager at Southampton Football Club and was responsible for sourcing and activating new partnerships with both small and large employers. James’s Previous roles included Project Manager u0026amp; Mobilisation Manager and Head of Apprenticeships and Employability, whereby James was responsible for the implementation of new contracts, Business engagement and operational delivery across numerous regions throughout England.rnrnPrior to this James was a professional football player with AFC Bournemouth and Personal trainer, having set up and created his own business.

Maz Garside
Marketing Communications Officer
Maz Garside
Marketing Communications Officer

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernMaz Garside’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-maz-garside-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernMaz joined the team in January 2019 as the Marketing Communications Officer with the key aim of strengthening and developing stakeholder relations. With over 20 years’ experience in communications and stakeholder planning, Maz has worked in the social housing and higher education sectors. In her last role with Southampton City Council, she led on communications associated with air quality projects. Maz has a Masters in Communication u0026amp; Language and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Lauren Hartley
Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager
Lauren Hartley
Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager

u003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernLauren joined the team as Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager in October 2019 and has over 16 years’ experience of working in compliance and governance roles in the private sector. Previous roles have included the development and implementation of policy frameworks, forward-looking regulatory radars, holistic Risk Management and the management of outsourcing and due diligence.rnrnLauren’s role assists in managing the organisation’s statutory and constitutional framework, via management of Solent Partners’ formal decision-making sub-panels and wider strategic advisory forums. She provides guidance and advice to panel and forum members, ensuring that all decisions are taken appropriately and support the transparency agenda for LEPs nationally.rnrnLauren lives on the Isle of Wight with a young family and is committed to the growth of the region.

Chris Heath
Local Growth Project Manager – Capital and Infrastructure
Chris Heath
Local Growth Project Manager – Capital and Infrastructure

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernChris Heath’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-chris-heath-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003ernrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernChris joined the team in April 2017 as Programme Officer responsible for European Funding.rnrnPrior to joining Solent partners, Chris had worked for a number of years in the Civil Service at the Land Registry. His more recent roles involved working at a local law firm in the Portsmouth area as well as international and local law firms in London. As an Office Manager for a law firm in London Chris took a lead role in business development. Chris’s expertise lies in audits and compliance to ensure exacting legislative standards and scheme requirements, for example Law Society Quality Standards, Investors in People, are met whilst identifying areas and actions for improvement to improve business efficiency.rnrnChris has lived in the Solent area since 1989.rnrnChris took up the position of Local Growth Project Manager (Capital and Infrastructure) in October 2018

Richard Jones
Solent Partners Group Director Corporate Services and Operations
Richard Jones
Solent Partners Group Director Corporate Services and Operations

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernRichard Jones’ Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-richard-jones-july-2023-24-1.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003ernrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernRichard was appointed Acting Chief Executive for the Solent Partners in August 2023. Having joined the organisation in 2011, with the board still in shadow form, he has held a number of roles within Solent Partners including Head of Policy, Communications and Partner Engagement, Assistant Director of Corporate Governance and Communications and Deputy Chief Executive.rnrnRichard leads the Solent Partners’ operational delivery and is responsible for the overall investment programme, driving the development and transformation of the organisation in its ambition to create a dynamic, vibrant, inclusive and internationally competitive region.rnrnRichard holds two degrees; a BA in Media and Sociology from the University of London and an MA in Political Communications from Cardiff University. With the exception of time spent away at University, Richard has lived in the Solent region his entire life.

Becky Lawler
Solent Growth Hub Admin Co-ordinator
Becky Lawler
Solent Growth Hub Admin Co-ordinator

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interest u003c/strongu003ernrnBecky’s register of interest an be viewed u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-rebecca-lawler-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiography u003c/strongu003ernrnBecky joined the team in 2019 after 3 years working with the Solent Growth Hub to assist SME’s in the region to access funding and support. Previous to this Becky has worked in Evaluation and monitoring, reconciliations within the financial services industry and has gained varied skills in customer service focused roles.rnrnBecky moved to the area from Buckinghamshire to gain a BA hons in Photography from Solent University and has remained in the Solent area ever since.

A photo of Jane Sime
Jayne Sime
Senior Enterprise and Skills Executive
A photo of Jane Sime
Jayne Sime
Senior Enterprise and Skills Executive

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernJayne Sime’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/jayne-sime-register-of-interest-2023-24-redacted.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernJayne joined the team in 2018 after 3 years working with the Solent Growth Hub to assist SME’s in the region to access funding and support. Previously, Jayne has held business development roles within both the publishing and recruitment industries.rnrnJayne holds a degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire, and has gained valuable experience creating and running her own business.rnrnAs a team leader at Solent Partners, Jayne is experienced in the management and delivery of funded support programmes. Jayne works closely with organisations across the public and private sectors to ensure that the business support eco-system works effectively, efficiently and collaboratively.

Nicky Smith
Senior Enterprise and Skills Executive
Nicky Smith
Senior Enterprise and Skills Executive

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interest u003c/strongu003ernNicky’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-nicola-smith-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernNicky was appointed to the role of Senior Enterprise and Skills Executive in November 2020 prior to which she specialised in recruiting crew for the cruise industry.rnrnNicky also spent 8 years working with various training providers, supporting young people through apprenticeships and employability programmes. She has had various roles including an Apprenticeship assessor and an Apprenticeship and Employability manager where she managed a team of business development officers and a sales team to find apprenticeship placements and recruit candidates to fill the roles.rnrnPrior to this Nicky was a Food and Beverage manager for both the Holiday Inn and Hilton brands and has had her own business in the hospitality industry.

A black and white photo of Alison Taylor
Alison Taylor
Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Programme Manager
A black and white photo of Alison Taylor
Alison Taylor
Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Programme Manager

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interest u003c/strongu003ernAlison’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-alison-taylor-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernAlison joined the team in March 2021 to lead the marketing and communications service, and to develop and implement the Solent Partners stakeholder engagement strategy. Alison brings experience from both the private and public sector, most recently in local government communications with over 15 years at Hampshire County Council where she led on strategic communications campaigns across a range of issues.

Nicola Twiddy
Executive Assistant
Nicola Twiddy
Executive Assistant

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interestu003c/strongu003ernNicola Twiddy’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-nicola-twiddy-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiographyu003c/strongu003ernNicola joined the team in February 2013, as Personal Assistant to Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive of the Solent LEP. In 2015 Nicola became the organisation’s Office Manager and PA to Anne-Marie Mountifield.rnrnPrior to joining the team, Nicola held a number of roles in the Financial Service Industry, including supporting a team of Independent Financial Advisers and Regional Managers at The Royal Bank of Scotland for the previous 10 years. Nicola holds a degree in Business Studies.

Lorna Wagner
Programme Manager, Maritime UK Solent
Lorna Wagner
Programme Manager, Maritime UK Solent

u003cstrongu003eRegister of Interest u003c/strongu003ernLorna’s Register of Interest can be found u003ca href=u0022https://solentpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/redacted-lorna-wagner-roi-2023-24.pdfu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e.rnrnu003cstrongu003eBiography u003c/strongu003ernLorna is Programme Manager at Maritime UK Solent, the industry-led body that champions the Solent’s world leading maritime cluster. Lorna’s primary responsibilities include the growth of the business network and stakeholder engagement. Prior to this appointment she led the Maritime UK national careers programme. Lorna has developed a large network of maritime sector leaders and is able to call on this to support work programmes. Lorna is adept at identifying opportunities to promote the sector and support maritime businesses.

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