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SEEDA enters final stage of moving to Closure by 31 March 2012

5 April 2011

The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) today begins a 90-day consultation period with staff as it moves into its closure phase up to the end of March 2012. 

During its final financial year, SEEDA will concentrate on closing and transferring programmes and assets in a way that delivers greatest economic value for the South East and value for money for the taxpayer.   SEEDA’s programme budget this year to deliver business support programmes up to their closure or transfer is just under £27m.  In addition, SEEDA will continue to manage European funding for the South East until transfer to government departments and to partners within the region on 1 July 2011; and is working with the Government and with local partners to take forward options for the future ownership and development of its £108m land and property assets.

All of SEEDA’s 220 staff are today put at risk of redundancy and given indicative leaving dates. As part of a major downsizing 140 will leave at the start of July reducing to five or six in March 2012 who will oversee the final accounts.   Staff numbers will reduce further over the year as programmes are handed over or closed.   Closing SEEDA professionally to ensure that the past and future economic benefits of key programmes and assets are retained for the South East will involve significant challenges. Moving to a small closure team means a smaller leadership team with different roles, including a substantially different role for the Chief Executive.  Pam Alexander, SEEDA’s Chief Executive for over seven years, has therefore decided that she will leave in early July with the majority of staff. 

Oona Muirhead will take on the role of Accounting Officer from 5 April when she becomes Chief Executive Officer Designate.   Her current post of Group Executive Director will be abolished as part of streamlining the top management structure and the executive team will reduce to 3 from 6 in autumn 2010. 

Rob Douglas, Chair of SEEDA, commented;

“My Board has been impressed by the professionalism that every member of   staff is showing in closing SEEDA whilst dealing with their own challenging personal situations. They continue, as always, to do their very best for the South East and we wish to thank them for that.

“Pam brought her passion for regeneration to our partnerships across the region which have created new opportunities for areas of deprivation, and are now being taken forward by the new enterprise partnerships. Colleagues will miss her strategic vision and broad experience of working with national government.  My Board and I are very grateful for the energy and commitment Pam has brought and the successes she has led SEEDA to deliver with our partners.  Between now and July Pam will hand over, to Oona and colleagues, remaining activities such as her work on the 2012 Games.“

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