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Ellesmere Port Development Board welcomes new Chairman

5th April 2016 – Ellesmere Port Development Board welcomes new Chairman.  A milestone anniversary sees the regeneration chief involved in London’s Docklands, Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Salford’s MediaCity holding the reins for the future of Ellesmere Port.

Cockney Chris Farrow has stepped up from being deputy chairman of the Ellesmere Port Development Board to head the enterprise, taking over from banker Robert Mee.

Mr Mee has chaired the board since it was established in 2010. It was created during the recession to drive forward the economic development and prosperity of the town when it faced challenges including question marks over two of its biggest employers as well as the town centre losing a number of high street brands.

Since then the board has developed a co-ordinated approach for the area’s economic growth, including transforming the heart of Ellesmere Port, delivering quality housing and employment growth, supporting businesses and developing skills.

Chris Farrow, Chairman of the Ellesmere Port Development Board

Chris Farrow, Chairman of the Ellesmere Port Development Board

It has pushed through initiatives to support these aims including actively marketing the town to businesses and developers to fill the empty sites left behind with the closure of the old industries.

Mr Farrow’s appointment comes as the board, which he joined on its inception, celebrates five years of working to promote and develop Ellesmere Port as a place to live, work, invest and do business.

Outgoing chairman Mr Mee said: “I’m extremely proud of the achievements of the development board since its establishment.

“The board is made up of representatives all committed to working together to drive improvements in the town and has played an important part in turning its fortunes around.

“We’ve got a strong foundation on which to build and an exciting agenda moving forward to position Ellesmere Port as a place where residents are proud to live and where people aspire to live.”

Mr Farrow’s whole career has been in regeneration starting in London Docklands before moving to Liverpool where he was responsible for the Albert Dock regeneration and more recently the MediaCity development at Salford.

He has been chief executive of the Merseyside Development Corporation, managing director at the Welsh Development Agency for North Wales supporting companies like Airbus, Toyota and Sharp and chairman of a group which created a strategic plan for West Cheshire and North East Wales.

In Salford he helped to secure over £3bn of investment, including the BBC. He became deputy chairman of the development board last year.

Mr Farrow said: “I am really proud of the progress that has been achieved over the last five years in Ellesmere Port.  “It owes much to the efforts of the board’s private and public sector partners, the council’s support and Robert Mee’s energy and leadership. The pressure is on now to maintain this success.”

Borough economic development and infrastructure chief Cllr Brian Clarke (Lab) said: “We are delighted to celebrate this milestone anniversary for the Ellesmere Port Development Board.

“They have made a significant contribution to regeneration in Ellesmere Port under the leadership of Robert Mee and we have every confidence in Chris Farrow to continue to build on all this great work”.