The new boss of a Government-backed group set up to push forward Northamptonshire’s economy has said it is essential more new homes are built in the county.
After heading up major regeneration projects in Liverpool and Cheshire, Jo Lappin has now been made the chief executive of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP).
The group was set up to help push forward the creation of 20,000 new jobs, 30,000 new houses and a growth in the local economy of 30 per cent by 2021.
To date, the organisation has focused mostly on job creation. But Mrs Lappin said equal weight must now be given to the development of more new homes.
She said: “We’re very well known in the business community, but increasingly, it’s about how we make sure that everything that makes the economy tick is in place.
“That takes us into the housing sector as well. We’ve got an ambition to bring forward a significant number of new houses in the area, because if we don’t have enough houses, where are the people who are attracted to work here going to live?”
Mrs Lappin was made chief executive of NEP in December.
She said that under her guidance, the organisation will work with the county’s councils and the West Northants Joint Planning Unit (JPU) to push forward new housing.
She said: “We’re going to get heavily involved in housing, it’s a critical component to our offer.”
She also dismissed criticism that NEP was little known outside the business community, adding: “For me, it’s not all about making sure everybody knows about NEP, what’s more important is that everybody sees the results of what we do.
“It’s all about our role in improving Northamptonshire’s economy.”