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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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New executive for Britain's Energy Coast

BRITAIN’S Energy Coast has announced a new chief executive.

EM Steven Szostak
Steven Szostak

The regeneration group has today revealed Steven Szostak as its new chief executive officer.

Mr Szostak, 56, has taken up the role at West Cumbria’s economic development agency after joining from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire where he was Deputy Managing Director and Head of Investment.

His responsibilities included establishing a countywide Regional Growth Fund initiative, managing land and property operations, acting as east Lancashire’s inward investment lead officer for Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and establishing new streams of commercial income.

Originally an urban planner, Mr Szostakhas spent 20 years running several economic development and business support partnership operations including Doncaster Central Development Trust and Business Link Bradford and District Ltd as well as holding regeneration-related positions at spanning urban and rural issues at Leeds City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Craven District Council. He has also edited three documentaries including ‘Changing Places’ for BBC TV which celebrated mixed cultures in Bradford as part of the Eid celebrations of 2004.

A keen follower of rugby league Mr Szostak is looking forward to catching Whitehaven and Workington Town games. His son Alex plays back row for Sheffield Eagles and will be vying for a place in the Scotland squad which will, coincidentally, be playing its two group matches for next year’s Rugby World Cup at Workington Town RLFC’s Derwent Park thanks to £350,000 of funding from BEC – which was confirmed last week.

He said: “I’m relishing the opportunity to bring my experience and expertise to the huge challenge that lies ahead for West Cumbria and Britain’s Energy Coast. My passion has always been to help build stronger, business-friendly economies that improve the job and career prospects of local people. West Cumbria is in the extremely fortunate position of facing huge investment in the local nuclear industry and has all the ingredients to grasp opportunities in Clean Technologies, in particular wet renewables. BEC exists to help build a strong and diverse economy that brings benefits to all and I’m honoured to be leading the organisation in this exciting period.”

Mr Szostak will take the reins from acting chief executive Tom Gilroy who will return to Sellafield Ltd following a secondment of two-and-half years.

During this period he has overseen the merging of the West Cumbria Development Agency, West Cumbria Development Fund and Westlakes Properties to create a one-stop-shop for economic development. He also oversaw the production of the West Cumbria Economic Blueprint, which sets a clear strategic direction for where BEC will focus its activities and funding over the next 15 years.

Mr Gilroy said: “I’m immensely proud of what I and my team have achieved in the past few years and I’d like to pay tribute to their hard work and determination during this time. I always said my focus was to bring these organisations together, to get traction into our packed programme of projects and to develop a clear and understandable strategy for the future – the West Cumbria Economic Blueprint. With these key tasks achieved it is right for me to hand over to someone to take the organisation forward. Steven has a solid background in economic development and – backed by a strong Executive team – will be well equipped to lead BEC during what will be a tough yet exciting time.”

Mr Szostak is supported by an executive team which includes David Jones, Head of Projects, Energy & Business Support; Tim Hirst, Head of Property; Andrew Martin, Head of Finance & Administration; and Luke Dicicco, Head of Communications & Inward Investment, who are in turn supported by 30 members of staff.

Britain’s Energy Coast is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Nuclear Management Partners and Sellafield Limited to deliver socio-economic developments across West Cumbria. This includes business support programmes funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Linkstart for start-ups and Backing Businesses to help companies grow, and the Sellafield Limited-funded Energy Opportunities Supply Chain projects to help the West Cumbrian nuclear supply chain to strengthen and diversify.

BEC also delivers support to encourage energy innovations as well as funding for major capital schemes including the Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre, Lillyhall (£4m with Nuclear Management Partners funding); the Albion Square office complex, Whitehaven (£3m with Nuclear Management Partners funding); and significant improvements to the Port of Workington (£5.65m with Nuclear Management Partners and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority funding). It also owns and operates Westlakes Science & Technology Park near Whitehaven and managed workspace at Workington and Blencathra Business Centre in Threlkeld near Keswick.

Have your say

Copeland is Quangoland. What do you think the NDA, Sellafield Ltd, (BNFL, UKAEA) ... are (were).

Posted by Brian on 14 November 2012 at 23:13

Another career quangocrat moving onward and upwards in quango land which is as immune as the BBC and the EU from financial reality.
God preserve us.

Posted by Tony on 12 November 2012 at 16:58

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