Local London has appointed Sarah Murray as its new director to lead the levelling up bid and help sub-region recover from pandemic.
She replaces Julian Ellerby, who has joined Redbridge Council as Director of Strategy.
Ms Murray has experience working with the public and private sectors and has an international perspective having worked for many years in Brussels including within the EU Institutions. She has represented the interests of local and regional government in the UK and the EU, including the East of England European Partnership, the City of London Corporation and Lancashire County Council.
A fluent French speaker with a Masters’ degree in European Economics and Public Affairs, Ms Murray brings a wealth of policy and advocacy skills and professional experience from roles across multi-layered partnerships working with politicians, civil servants, academics and businesspeople among others. She has engaged on a wider number of policy areas including research and innovation, financial services, transport, and regional policy.
Sarah Murray, Director of Local London, said: “I’m really thrilled to join Local London at a really integral time for the partnership post-pandemic and post-Brexit. In previous roles, I’ve really enjoyed building and developing partnerships, unlocking new opportunities, shaping policy, delivering bids, and improving programmes by bringing a variety of different voices to the table, whether its universities, or chambers of commerce, or voluntary organisations. The opportunity to shape what is already a really, dynamic region was very attractive to me.
“My Brussels experience gave me an international perspective on some of the agendas and topics I’ll be working on. I’ve seen some highly transferrable good practice across the EU so I’ll be reflecting upon how to share that to the benefit of Local London.”
At Local London, Ms Murray will be responsible for overseeing a £60 million set of ‘soft growth’ programmes, including a service that helps people made unemployed by the pandemic to find jobs; a service which supports small-and-medium-sized businesses capitalise on digital marketing and emerging technologies for growth, and a service to support young people to access careers.
She will also be leading the sub-region’s efforts to influence the Government’s levelling-up agenda and secure funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the wake of lost European funding. The Local London region would have benefited from 1.1 billion Euros had the UK remained within the EU bloc.
She will also work with both the Thames Estuary Growth Board and UK Innovation Corridor to represent East London’s interests and attend groups at London Councils and GLA to influence the sub-region’s position.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, the Chairman of Local London, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Sarah to Local London.
She has an impressive CV and back story of success across a variety of roles. We will need all her skills, experience, and knowledge as we work collectively to recover and renew post-Covid. I look forward to working with her.”
Notes to Editors
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Local London is one of four sub-regional partnerships in our Capital City. Founded in 2016, we are a group of eight Conservative and Labour councils in the North East and South East of London representing around 2.3 million residents and 100,000 businesses. Our population makes us larger than Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool combined.
Through our three-year Local London Plan, we work collectively to enable growth. Residents and businesses in this part of London do not benefit from the advantages of living and operating in the Capital City so we seek to remedy that in two specific ways.
Firstly, we deliver a £60 million set of ‘soft growth’ programmes and projects targeted at specific groups of our population and businesses. For example:
- The DWP Local London Work and Health Programme – which helps people with disabilities and long-term unemployment back into work through bespoke support.
- The DWP Local London Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) Programme – which supports people made unemployed by the pandemic to re-enter work.
- London East Careers Hub – which provides careers provisions to schools, colleges and PRUs in this region.
- E-business programme – which supports SME businesses to capitalise on digital marketing and emerging technologies.
- We also deliver initiatives around improvements to digital infrastructure and are developing a new green partnership which will focus on the emerging net zero economy.
Secondly, we champion, influence and advocate for our region by bidding for new funding, lobbying for change and improvement, and seeking devolution opportunities. The Local London sub-region is at the confluence of two nationally important growth corridors (The UK Innovation Corridor and Thames Estuary), and we work practically with both of those to generate growth and capitalise upon opportunity.
Local London is an area of both massive opportunity and need. The density of major brownfield sites combined with the range of tangible, large-scale opportunities put it in a strong position to be able to partner proactively with Government to overcome challenges, unleash potential and help underpin the post-pandemic national recovery and the ‘levelling up’ process across the nation. For the UK’s economic future is not ‘zero sum’. Local London is not separate from and in competition with our national economy – it is an inextricable and crucial part of it, and our success is the UK’s success too.