Sheffield loses key officer to Leeds

Ben Still is off to Leeds
Ben Still is off to Leeds
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One of Sheffield City Region’s top people has jumped ship - and joined rivals Leeds.

Ben Still, £110,000-a-year executive director of the Local Enterprise Partnership, is leaving for a £150,000 job in West Yorkshire.

He has been a key figure in the growth of the public-private body, set up to boost the region’s economy, including its pioneering devolution deal with government.

His departure will create a big hole - and a big headache for LEP leaders who have to find a replacement.

He is leaving after successfully applying for the job of managing director of West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It means he will be the top public sector official in an umbrella organisation which covers five local councils, including Bradford, York and Leeds, the West Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and its transport executive.

He said: “Sheffield City Region and Leeds City Region are already working together across a range of important projects and I hope that in my new role I will be able to further strengthen this relationship.”

Sheffield LEP chairman James Newman said they would be advertising for a replacement.

He added: “Ben’s leadership has greatly contributed to our position in the vanguard of English devolution and at the forefront of the Northern Powerhouse. Sheffield City Region combined authority and LEP have a very strong reputation and we expect to attract a strong field of candidates for this high profile role.”

On his LinkedIn page, Ben Still states he led the development of an economic plan which won a £350m growth deal from government in 2014. He also spent a decade in the civil service working for the Department for Transport, heading the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, and working for private transport consultants in Leeds.