Arc Universities

The Oxford to Cambridge Partnership has announced the appointment of Dipesh J. Shah OBE as its first independent Chair. This milestone appointment comes after the Secretary of State for the Department forLevelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) confirmed the government’s support for a locally-led Pan regional Partnership.

As the independent Chair, Dipesh will work closely with the new Board, Dr Richard Hutchins, the Partnership’s newly appointed Managing Director, and stakeholders to shape and deliver the Partnership’s mission. His leadership will help drive the region towards better outcomes for residents, businesses, and the environment.

Chair of the Arc Universities Group, Professor Alistair Fitt, said:

 ‘I am delighted that the partnership has attracted a Chair with such a breadth of experience and deep understanding of the innovation, sustainable technologies and skills for the future that are flowing from our universities. We are all looking forward to working together to help turn ambition into reality.”

Welcoming Mr Shah to the role, Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Councjl and the Partnership’s interim chair said:

Dipesh Shah’s distinguished career and experience in the public and private sectors, as well as his passion for community development made him an ideal candidate for the role.Dipesh’s appointment marks a new chapter for regional collaboration for this area and I wish him and the Board the very best as we continue our efforts together to create positive change for our residents.”

Speaking about his appointment, Dipesh Shah said,

“I am delighted to join the Partnership as its first Independent Chair. The Region is a hub of innovation. There is great ambition to propel its strengths to furtherstimulate the economy in a manner which benefits all communities, is sustainable and environmentally progressive. The Partnership will meet this imperative by building on the collaborative endeavour across the region. I look forward to working with stakeholders and colleagues to advance the delivery of the Partnership’s mission. 

The Partnership brings together leaders from local councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Arc Universities Group, and England’s Economic Heartland. The collaboration aims to unlock opportunities for the region’s innovation-led economy while simultaneously protecting and improving the area’s environment. The ultimate goal is to secure a future in which allcommunities prosper from the very best in sustainable ways of living and working.

Minister for Levelling Up Dehenna Davison said:

I’m pleased to hear that the Oxford to Cambridge Partnership has appointed a chair so that it can deliver its ambitions for the area to be a world leader in innovation. Dipesh Shah brings a wealth of experience to the role to help communities in the region. This partnership will play an important role in growing the local economy and boosting opportunities for people, contributing towards levelling up across the country.”

Dipesh will join the Partnership from 1 July 2023.

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