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GFirst LEP appoint Ruth Dooley as new Chair

The Business Magazine article image for: GFirst LEP appoint Ruth Dooley as new Chair
27 July 2021

Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP, has announced the appointment of Ruth Dooley as its new Chair.

This is the first ever change in its leadership as Dr Diane Savory OBE steps down after 10 years at the helm.

Ruth Dooley is a partner and head of the litigation support team at Hazlewoods LLP, an accountancy firm based in Cheltenham and Staverton with 412 staff and partners.  She is a chartered accountant and tax adviser for a wide range of companies and private clients and is a previous winner of South West Accountant of the Year.  During her thirty years in Gloucestershire, she has contributed to the Prince’s Trust, Fredericks Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Gloucestershire.

Ruth’s role as chair will be to lead the LEP Board who represent a wide range of private, public, education and voluntary sector organisations from across the county, and work with partners to engage government and realise the LEP’s ambitions for Gloucestershire. Ruth was previously a Growth Hub Board member and has been a GFirst LEP Board member for the last two years.

Commenting on her appointment, Ruth said; “I am honoured and excited to be taking on the role of Chair. In the decade since it was established, GFirst LEP has secured more than £112m in capital funding to invest across the county, it has launched a hugely successful Growth Hub network along with a whole host of fantastic projects including the Gloucester Transport Hub, the Gloucester M5 Services, Cyber Central in Cheltenham, Farm 491 in Cirencester and the GREEN Skills centre in Berkeley”.

“I am determined that the LEP will build on this impressive legacy over the comings years, continuing to deliver the sustainable economic growth that Gloucestershire needs and deserves.”

David Owen CEO of GFirst LEP, “This is a pivotal time for Gloucestershire, and GFirst LEP is in a strong position to help lead the local economy as it emerges from the pandemic. The immediate priority is to protect jobs, create opportunities for new employment and upskill workforces to move to a more digital and environmentally sustainable Gloucestershire. The immediate focus being on delivering major schemes for the county including the five ‘Getting Building Fund’ projects”.

“It is fantastic that Gloucestershire will be able to draw on the wealth of experience and vision from Ruth, I am delighted to welcome her as Chair of the LEP Board and look forward to delivering on our projects and priorities collaboratively for the county.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Diane for her passion and commitment over the past decade, she has been a truly inspirational for Gloucestershire, the LEP team and for me personally.”

If you would like to find out more about how GFirst LEP supports Gloucestershire through sustainable economic growth please visit


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