Peterborough engineering boss chosen to drive new growth plans

Austen Adams, the new chairman of the Combined Authority's Business Board.
Austen Adams, the new chairman of the Combined Authority's Business Board.
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A prominent business leader in Peterborough is to head up the Combined Authority’s Business Board.

Austen Adams, the divisional managing director of Avingtrans, which owns Peter Brotherhood, in Peterborough, and Stainless Metalcraft, in Chatteris, has been named as the new chairman of the board.

He replaces Professor Aamir Khalid, who announced he was standing down due to work pressures.

The Business Board was created to be forum of private sector business leaders who could advise the leaders of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on jobs and wealth creating proposals.

Among Mr Adams’ first tasks will be to push ahead with the first Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which was launched last month.

He said: “The Business Board is all about fostering innovation and supporting local enterprise, working in partnership across our region.

“By generating the conditions in which businesses flourish, the Combined Authority can achieve its goal of doubling economic output while building an inclusive economy to sustain prosperity across our community.

“I’m proud to have been chosen to take the Local Industrial Strategy forward and help deliver its bright promise. It combines bold ambition with clear actions that will help firms to become more productive and make their mark all across the globe.”

Mayor James Palmer said: “We are grateful to Professor Khalid for his expertise, experience and leadership in the Board’s crucial first months.

"These are big shoes to fill but Austen Adams couldn’t be a worthier successor. He already has invaluable experience as a Business Board member and he’s squarely behind the Combined Authority ambition to make this whole region, not just Cambridge city, one of the world’s top places to live, work, and do business.

“He’ll take ownership of the industrial strategy and waste no time putting it to work, attracting investment, unlocking new markets, and helping our firms to deliver prosperity throughout the community.”

The LIS is a blueprint to double the size of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough economy.

Its priorities are: building joined-up transport links, removing obstacles to trade, increasing apprenticeships, and tailoring more adult education courses to business requirements, skilling up local applicants to apply for well-paid jobs near to home, and boosting productivity and growth across the three sub-economies of the Fens, Greater Peterborough, and Greater Cambridge.