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Greater Birmingham LEP appoints board member for young people

PR consultants joins board of LEP to help forge links between city's young population and business community

Sophie Drake has joined the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP board

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed a new board member to represent the region's young people.

Believed to be the first appointment of its kind among UK LEPs, PR consultant Sophie Drake has joined the board for a three-year tenure as a non-executive director.

The LEP said the move was aimed at driving engagement and inspiring the region's burgeoning 18 to 30-year-old population.

She was chosen to sit on the LEP's board from 40 applicants and will join 19 other non-executive directors from across the private, public and educational sectors.

She will also be responsible for supporting a group of young representatives to sit on the LEP's sub-boards for business, people and place, working with them to forge links between the organisation, its partners and the region's youth.

Ms Drake, 24, is a graduate of Birmingham City University and works as a senior account executive with PR and communications agency Story Comms whose clients include Marketing Birmingham, law firm Mills & Reeve and The FA.

Last year, she won the communications category at Future Face Awards run by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

Ms Drake said: "The fact the LEP has created this pioneering position shows the region and its business community is taking stock of its uniquely youthful profile and the contribution young people can and will make to its future success.

"The decisions being made about the region's future now will impact the lives, careers and families of our young people - they should have a say in those decisions.

"I'm looking forward to listening to the views of my peers, understanding their perspectives and representing their voice on the big issues affecting the region's future."

Chris Loughran, LEP director and chairman of the nominations committee, added: "During such an exciting time for Greater Birmingham, the LEP is really pleased to welcome Sophie to its board.

"We were impressed with her knowledge, passion and commitment to the region and her ideas on how to build strong relationships between young people across Greater Birmingham and those leading on the delivery of its large-scale economic development priorities.

"In deciding to create this role, the board recognised the importance of young people in influencing the area's future."

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