Published: Thursday, January 5, 2017
An interim Chief Executive has been secured to lead the Greater Cambridge City Deal as work on the ambitious programme steps up.
Rachel Stopard, 51, will provide executive leadership across the partnership, ensuring it unlocks long-term benefits including better transport links and thousands of new homes and jobs across Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.
She joins from Camden Council, where she was Deputy Chief Executive, having previously worked in senior local authority roles at Essex, East Hertfordshire and Suffolk.
It comes as a number of key City Deal-funded projects move from design to delivery in 2017 and ahead of funding doubling after 2020.
Making the announcement, Cllr Lewis Herbert, Chair of the City Deal Executive Board, said the move was part of wider plans to set the partnership up for success at a critical stage and as City Deal work expands.
“While we have made major progress in our first two years, it’s now right we step up a gear as projects move into delivery phase from this year onwards,” he said.
“This year, we will start to prioritise tranche two projects ready to go from 2020 as well as work to maximise new opportunities for our area brought about by the countywide devolution deal.
“Rachel will strengthen our delivery and comes with vast experience in Local Government and public service delivery and her contribution will help us maintain focus and momentum at what is set to be our most challenging period yet.”
Her services were secured following agreement by Board members, Chief Executives of all three City Deal partner authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The City Deal has made great strides in its first two years but we always expected that, as multiple schemes moved from design to delivery, we would have to strengthen leadership and capacity. Rachel’s appointment as the start of this process is a natural and anticipated move.”
The City Deal is a partnership between Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Cambridge, with additional funding of up to £500m and powers to tackle barriers to sustainable economic growth in the area with a focus on transport, housing and skills.
It aims to manage future growth and maintain quality of life by investing in a sustainable transport network, deliver new housing – including more affordable homes - and by ensuring business has good access to skilled workers.
Rachel said: “It’s a privilege to be part of a programme which will secure Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire as one of the UK’s leading city economies.
“I look forward to leading work over the next few months that will give positive benefits to peoples’ lives now and for the generations to come.”