Meet the team

It’s been an exciting start to 2017 for the GBSLEP as we welcome new members to our team. 

Each month we will have an introductory Q&A featuring a member of the new team in our enewsletters, so you can find out a bit more about them and their role – find them here 

Meet Paul Edwards – Head of Strategy

Tell me about your role.

I’m Head of Strategy, which means that I lead on the development and delivery of the LEP’s strategic priorities, including overall policy direction for the LEP.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The sheer breadth of things that I get involved in, which range from business innovation, through to development of skills for our future economy and ensuring that we have the infrastructure in place to meet our future economic growth needs. This means that I have the privilege to work with many fascinating people, who are experts in these areas

What did you study at university and why?

I spent a good deal of my 20s at university, collecting an undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield and two postgraduate degrees from the University of Nottingham. What started out as an American Studies degree, as I liked the idea of spending a year in the States, soon morphed into a PhD on the development of the suburbs in 1950s America.

What is your favourite place in the GBSLEP area and why?

I’m a keen runner and live in south Birmingham so am a big fan of the canal networks of Birmingham, not least as the towpaths take me home most evenings.  I grew up in Balsall Common, in the very south-east of our area, so will always have a soft spot for our more rural parts. Fields and sheep were but a five minute walk from my front door – so it’s not all about the big city.

If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?

I think it would be fascinating to gain some insights into what people who hold power really think, but my talk show hosting skills might struggle to tease anything out of our political leaders. I’ve always been interested in what happens when intellectual or artistic principles collide with economic reality so perhaps one of the great architects of the twentieth century, if they were still alive, to ask how they dealt with those tensions in getting their buildings built. Frank Lloyd Wright or the Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Does ability to travel in time count?  If so, there are plenty of periods of our past that I’d love to be able to visit. I’d start off with Elizabethan London and a trip to a premiere of Shakespeare’s latest play.


Who else makes up the GBSLEP team?

Ben Kirsch, Business Support Policy Advisor – Find out about Ben here

Roger Mendonca, Director of GBSLEP – find out about Roger here

Katie Fulcher, Executive Officer for Key Sectors – find out about Katie here

Iain Mansell, Executive Officer for Innovation – find out about Iain here

Katie Judge, Executive Manager for Business – find out about Katie here

Tom Fletcher, Growth Deal Delivery – find out more about Tom here

Sarah Hughes, Optimising Assets Executive Officer – find our more about Sarah here