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Business and creative arts ambassador welcomed as SELEP’s new Deputy Chair

  • Sarah is the current co-Chair of SELEP’s South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN) and has sat on SELEP’s Federated Board for Kent and Medway – the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (KMEP)
  • She currently runs her own consultancy in Kent working with a wide range of cultural and creative industry businesses
  • She is overseeing England’s Creative Coast – a landmark arts and tourism project for the South East
  • She has been on the board of several arts organisations and has led the work on the ambitions for Thames Estuary Production Corridor

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) is excited to name Sarah Dance as its new Deputy Chair, to be a key voice for the LEP in terms of investment and business growth in the South East, namely East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.

Sarah brings valuable experience and extensive networks to the LEP and has a strong track record of delivering projects and investment into the area. She is the current co-Chair of SELEP’s South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN) and has sat on SELEP’s Federated Board for Kent and Medway – the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (KMEP).

Sarah has a great understanding of the needs of businesses and how to build funding packages and programmes to support them. She has previously led or raised funding for several partnership projects, including the South East Cultural Consortium, Screen South’s Pinewood Studio Network and Accentuate, the Legacy Trust’s Olympic & Paralympic cultural project for the South East.

She currently runs her own consultancy working with a wide range of cultural and creative industry businesses. She is overseeing England’s Creative Coast – a landmark arts and tourism project for the South East – and has been on the board of several arts organisations and has led the work on the ambitions for Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

At the end of 2019, SELEP began its search for a Deputy Chair, encouraging business leaders with a strong connection to the SELEP area to apply and demonstrate their proven track record of driving strategic change as well as leading large, complex projects in the private sector. Sarah will sit in the role for two years, at which time her term can be extended for two further years following review and agreement by the Board.

In her new role, Sarah will act as an ambassador and champion for SELEP projects and programmes. Alongside SELEP Chair Christian Brodie, she will help to develop and maintain relationships with SELEP’s business partners, neighbouring LEPs and other stakeholders, including Government ministers, local MPs, local authority leaders and key players in the Further Education and Higher Education fields.

New South East LEP Deputy Chair Sarah Dance said:

“This is an exciting new challenge for me, one I am very much looking forward to embracing. The South East is a thriving hub for business, with a real entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a region with huge potential to flourish for generations to come. With key developments for the area on the horizon – such as the Lower Thames Crossing and the Thames Estuary Production Corridor – I hope that I can bring a fresh perspective to help ensure these projects will benefit local communities and boost the South East’s long-term sustainability.

“I am particularly looking forward to working alongside Christian to position SELEP as a frontrunner amongst LEPs in terms of diversity, and to ensure that we are being held to the highest levels of scrutiny by fostering an environment of true transparency. Dealing with public funding means we must be held fully accountable, and I am confident that Christian and I – alongside our fellow Board members and the LEP’s Federated Boards – will keep SELEP’s standards impeccably high.”

South East LEP Chair Christian Brodie said:

“I am delighted for Sarah to be joining me as Deputy Chair on the South East LEP Strategic Board. Her networks, knowledge and experience of various projects and organisations across our patch makes her the ideal candidate for this role, which will aid me in broadening our horizons across the South East and ensuring that our all-important relationships with stakeholders are maintained and improved.

“Sarah’s diverse experience and existing knowledge of the LEP, its Boards and its operations will enable a fast tracked start and help with our focus of improving productivity and delivering high growth across the South East LEP area, and I am sure the rest of the Strategic Board – along with our partners on our three Federated Boards – are keen to work with Sarah and draw from her vast knowledge of the creative industry in the South East.”


For all press and media enquiries, please contact:

Ellie Clow
Communications Officer
Email: eleanor.clow@southeastlep.com
Tel: 03330 136839