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HEAD OF FIRST RDA STEPS DOWN

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Michael Ward, the chief executive of the London Development Agency, has ...
Michael Ward, the chief executive of the London Development Agency, has

announced that he is stepping down as chief executive in order to

concentrate on policy development and research.

Mr Ward said: 'Having set up the LDA, I think this is the right time to

move on to other things. It has been a privilege to lead the first regional

development agency in the first devolved English region.

'I have enjoyed every minute of the last three and a half years. My

commitment to London's economic development is undiminished. I now intend to

work on future policy for the regional development agencies and London

government. I hope that this change will also help my own work-life balance,

as this period has been very hectic.

'The LDA is now firmly established. It is playing a pivotal role in London's

bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and is working with business to lead a

new drive to ensure London's future workforce have the right skills. We have

a strong record on delivering on our key targets, and investing our budget.

I look forward to continuing to work on the future policy agenda for urban

and regional development.

'London is a growing city, with pressing needs for transport and other

investment. The challenge for all of us is to agree national priorities,

which recognize the needs and potential of London and all the regions

'The LDA has an exceptionally strong team in place, and I am confident that

the Agency will go from strength to strength.'

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, said: 'I want to thank Michael for his

work in getting the LDA started. The agency has achieved its key targets,

for jobs, skills, new businesses, and the reclamation of derelict land. I

wish Michael every success for the future, and I know that he will continue

to play an active part in the debates on London's future.'

Honor Chapman, chair of the LDA Board said: 'Michael's policy work on

economic development has made a grea t contribution to London's regeneration

strategies and to the regional development agency network nationally.

Michael has been chief executive for the LDA during a period of notable

success and I and the LDA board are grateful for everything he has done to

secure the agency's achievements over the last three years.'

The London Development Agency is the mayor's agency for business and jobs.

It receives its£300m annual budget from the government, and reports

to the mayor of London. The LDA employs 250 staff.

Michael Ward has led the LDA executive team since the start of the agency in

2000. He was responsible for the preparation of the LDA's first economic

development strategy, published in 2001. The agency leads programmes of

physical redevelopment, business support, derelict land reclamation and

skills training across London.

In east London, the agency works closely with the government and the London

boroughs to contribute to the creation of new, sustainable communities for

work and living in the London Thames Gateway. On part of the former Ford

site in Dagenham, the LDA has sponsored a new Centre for Engineering and

Manufacturing Excellence, working with leading edge universities to train

engineers for the future.

Mr Ward will continue to work for the LDA as a consultant on regional

economic policy, undertaking a programme of work in conjunction with

government departments and universities.

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