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University unveils new Board members

July 17 2015

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Leading lights from the Bank of England, local government and higher education have joined the Board at Glyndŵr University.

The Wrexham University has appointed the Bank of England’s former Agent for Wales, Neil Ashbridge; Denbighshire County Council’s Corporate Director: Economic & Community Ambition, Rebecca Maxwell, and Connah's Quay native Maxine Penlington OBE, ex-Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham City University and former Executive Secretary at the CUC (Committee of University Chairs) to its Board of Governors.

They join Celia Jenkins, former High Sheriff of Clwyd, as fresh faces keen to lay the foundations for a new era at the north east Wales institution.

Following the launch of a new five-year strategic framework – which included a projected £1.7million surplus for 2015/16 – Mr Ashbridge (pictured), from Marford, revealed he and the other members see a bright future for the University.

Having retired from the Bank of England just four weeks ago following a 40-year career, he said he looks forward to joining Glyndŵr University at this “exciting” time.

“There is a new focus of the strategy and I find that exciting to be involved with,” said Mr Ashbridge, originally from Heswall, Wirral.

“I was also attracted by the positioning of the institution, as being even more ingrained in the community of north east Wales and its businesses - that’s really why I got involved.

“When you’ve worked in public service for such a long time you feel you’d like to give something back, and this is an opportunity to do so.”

Ms Maxwell, who previously worked for the NHS and local government in Scotland, is also looking forward to supporting the evolution of the University and plans to bring her own strengths to the Board.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here at this important time for Glyndŵr University,” she said.

“Higher education is very important and part of my role at Denbighshire is developing the economy and skills agenda in the region. We see Glyndŵr as playing a very important role in that and across North Wales as a whole, so I look forward to getting started.”

Ms Penlington echoed those words, and said she has a “real desire” to support education in north east Wales having been born and bred in Flintshire.

She was secretary to the Committee of University Chairs from 2009 to 2013 and involved more widely in promoting high standards of governance in UK universities.

“I am absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to join the Board of Glyndŵr and to assist the University in developing further the excellent service that it already provides to individuals and organisations in north east Wales,” said Ms Penlington.

The audit committee is also set to recruit new blood; Paul McGrady and Tim Mitchell will join co-opted member, Barry Flynn.

Mr Mitchell is a director at accountancy firm McLintocks and heads up their Wrexham office.

“I was very pleased to be considered for this position. The University has a key role not just in the local community but also North Wales as a whole. I am passionate about Wrexham and I am looking forward to using my skill and experience to assist in Glyndwr achieving its goals for the benefit of the town,” he said.

Mr McGrady,a qualified accountant and Director of Resources at Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, a registered social landlord that manages 6,300 homes in north west Wales, added: “I’m delighted to be able to support the university and use my experience to help it to continue to have a positive impact on Wrexham.”

At a breakfast meeting on its Wrexham campus last Friday, Glyndŵr University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Upton, set out the strategic framework that will guide the University's decision-making from 2015-2020.

Professor Upton announced a four-year financial turnaround which includes a projected £1.7m surplus for 2015/16 and a turnover of up to £75m by 2019/20.

There are plans to grow student numbers over the same period, doubling the number of full-time UK/EU undergraduates to 5,400.

Welcoming the new members, he said: “I would like to thank them for joining us at Glyndŵr University at this crucial time. We are making big plans for the future and their vision and experience will have a major influence on the steps we take to achieve the goals set out in the five-year strategy.”

For more on Glyndŵr University, including how to apply and information on student support, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk

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