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Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates has announced 6 new appointments to the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board (WIDAB).

First published:
25 November 2019
Last updated:

These appointments will run for a period of 3 years. WIDAB provides advice to the Minister for Economy and Transport on issues relating to the Welsh Economy and assists the Welsh Government in its ambition to drive sustainable and inclusive growth across Wales through the Economic Action Plan. 

Central to WIDAB’s role is providing advice on individual projects requesting support of more than £1 million from the relevant schemes within the Economy Futures Fund. 

The newly appointed Board Members are:

  • Alun Jones
  • Ben Pritchard
  • Mark Rhydderch-Roberts
  • Professor Nigel Morgan
  • Samantha Toombs
  • Sioned Edwards.

The Chair of the Board Michael Macphail, who was appointed in July, will lead the proceedings of Board meetings and help fellow Board Members to reach a consensus so that suitable recommendations can be made to the Minister.

The current level of remuneration is £198 per day for each Board Member for an average commitment of one day a month. Meetings are held throughout Wales on a monthly basis. 

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

None of the Members have declared any political activity in the last five years. Sioned Edwards is also a Member of the Anglesey Enterprise Zone Advisory Board. No other Members hold any other Ministerial appointments.  

New WIDAB Board members:

Alun Jones has worked within the economic development sector for 27 years. He was appointed as an executive director with Menter a Busnes in 1997 and been the Group’s Chief Executive since September 2003.

Ben Pritchard is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport and has over 17 years of experience. He has led multidisciplinary teams on major infrastructure and development projects across the UK, New Zealand and Australia. 

Mark Rhydderch-Roberts is a former Investment Banker who has held senior positions at a number of Global Investment Banks including UBS, Lehman Brothers, Schroders and Societe Generale. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the International Conference Centre Wales and Treasurer and Non-Executive Director of Glamorgan County Cricket Club. 

Professor Nigel Morgan is Head of Surrey University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, having held professorial titles in several universities in the UK and Europe. 

Samantha Toombs has held several senior leadership roles within world leading global digital transformation/ICT providers, helping to transform UK public sector services over the past 20 years.

Sioned Edwards is a management consultant and specialises in business strategy, staff engagement and funding business investment.