GFirst LEP appoints its new chair

Ruth Dooley has been revealed as GFirst LEP’s new chair – with the appointment marking the first ever change in leadership for Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership as Dr Diane Savory OBE steps down.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
GFirst LEP has announced it has appointed Ruth Dooley as its new chair.
GFirst LEP has announced it has appointed Ruth Dooley as its new chair.

Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership has announced the appointment of Ruth Dooley as its new chair.

The appointment marks the first change in the LEP’s leadership since its foundation in 2011, as Dr Diane Savory OBE steps down from her role.

Taking on the role of chair, Ruth will be responsible for leading the LEP Board whose members represent various organisations from Gloucestershire’s private, public, education and voluntary sectors; as well as working with partners to engage government and carry out the organisation’s ambitious plans for the county.

As partner and head of the litigation support team at Hazlewoods LLP, Ruth Dooley is a chartered accountant and tax adviser – working with a host of companies and private clients and scooping the accolade of South West Accountant of the Year for her work.

Ruth has spent 30 years in Gloucestershire, contributing to the Prince’s Trust; Fredericks Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Gloucestershire; and the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire. She’s also a visiting fellow at the University of Gloucestershire; has been a Growth Hub Board member and has been a GFirst LEP Board member herself for the past two years.

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 £112 million 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, said: ‘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.’

As the local economy emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic, the LEP’s immediate priority is to protect jobs and create new employment opportunities, while upskilling existing workforces to make Gloucestershire more digital and environmentally-sustainable.

For more information about GFirst LEP, visit

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