A former business leader and current Suffolk High Sheriff has been appointed as the first chair of the Suffolk Business Board as the LEP ceases operations.

Mark Pendlington, who lives in Acton, near Sudbury, was announced as chair on Tuesday by Suffolk county councillor Richard Smith. 

Mr Pendlington will be chairing the Suffolk Business Board – which is set to replace the New Anglian LEP, or Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

In August last year, the government announced that the LEP would be dissolved and made a part of upper-tier councils. 

The aim of this new structure is to get local government to collaborate with businesses. 

Ipswich Star: Mark Pendlington is also the Suffolk High SheriffMark Pendlington is also the Suffolk High Sheriff (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

Ipswich Star: The Suffolk Bussiness Board will comprise of 14 members in totalThe Suffolk Bussiness Board will comprise of 14 members in total (Image: Newsquest)

Following the government's announcement, it was decided that the New Anglian LEP would be split into two, with Norfolk and Suffolk establishing their own business boards. 

Easter Sunday will officially be the last day of the LEP in its current structure. 

Suffolk would retain most of the economic powers and would provide skills boot camps on behalf of both counties. 

Since the plan was made to split the board, Mr Smith has held seven "business breakfasts" with the aim to solicit and listen to their voices. 

The new Suffolk Business Board will start at the end of April, with a strength of 14 members. 

Though Mr Pendlington has been appointed as chair, his tenure will only last for a year after which the chair will be an elected member of the board. 

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks will also be a member of this board and will help the chair choose the rest of the members. 

The structure of the new board also allows for the membership of one more councillor and one council officer, along with nine business leaders. 

Mr Smith said that they have been overwhelmed, as 56 business leaders had applied to be on the board. 

The Suffolk Business Board's main aim would be to draft the economic plan for Suffolk going forward.