Leading Education Specialist Joins Marches Local Enterprise Partnership

A highly experienced manager and academic has joined the board of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

Dr Simone Clarke, who is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students at Harper Adams University in Edgmond, Shropshire, was formally appointed to the role at the partnership’s latest board meeting.

She will take on the board’s higher education champion role, as well as working with the other board members on the LEP’s strategic and policy matters.

LEP chair Sonia Roberts welcomed Simone’s appointment. She said: “I’m delighted to welcome Simone to the LEP board. She brings a huge amount of high-level experience and expertise gained across the higher education sector and I know she will be a tremendous asset to the team.

“Our universities and colleges have a major role to play in the growth and development of the business sector in the Marches region and it is vital that we work together for a common purpose. I know Simone will be key to making sure everyone achieves success.”

Dr Clarke joined Harper Adams in 2020 and has spent more than 25 years in higher education management. She achieved a first-class honours degree in history at Aberystwyth University before completing her PhD at the same university.

Dr Clarke said: “I am delighted to join the LEP at such a critical moment for the organisation which is offering strategic leadership and funding for our region to enrich and develop its economic and social life.”

Dr Clarke’s management experience includes governance, research management, strategic and academic planning. She has led successful change management programmes and was the project lead for a Strategic Investment Fund programme of organisational change funded by the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (worth £5.7million).

She also has grassroots business experience as she previously ran her own hospitality business.