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Sue Nelson

23rd August 2022

Susie Warran-Smith CBE appointed Chair of Locate in Kent

Susie Warran-Smith CBE has been appointed as the new chair of Locate in Kent. She will serve a three-year term and replaces outgoing chair David Fitzsimmons who has held the post since 2015.

Locate in Kent is the official inward investment agency for Kent and Medway. It provides free, confidential support to employers setting up, expanding or relocating to the region and is the first point of call for any international enterprise coming to the UK. It has helped over 12,500 businesses to grow or expand in the county since 1997 and created or retained over 80,000 jobs.

Susie Warran-Smith CBE was appointed to the board as non-executive director in April 2022 together with Moni Varma, founder and Executive Chairman of the Veetee Food Group and Marsha Marriner, Partner and Head of Commercial Property with law firm Whitehead Monckton. David Fitzsimmons steps down from the role after completing his term but will remain on the board.

Gavin Cleary. CEO, Locate in Kent, said: “Susie is an award-winning and experienced business owner who knows what it takes to grow a successful business in Kent. She is perfectly placed to support Locate in Kent’s ambitions. I am delighted that Susie has been appointed to become chair and I look forward to working with her and the board as we continue our mission to attract more business investment and jobs to the region. I am so pleased that we have been able to attract a leader of Susie’s calibre.”

“I would also like to express my deep and sincere thanks to David Fitzsimmons for the commitment and drive he has shown during his term as chairman. With his oversight, we have continued to deliver for the Kent business community and have solid priorities for the future. David has been an incredible advocate for the county, for Locate in Kent and an invaluable support to me, particularly during the pandemic. We have been very fortunate that he made the decision to dedicate his considerable talents and immense experience to helping create jobs and prosperity in the county.”

Susie Warran-Smith, CBE said: “I’m flattered to have been appointed as the chair for Locate in Kent and I look forward to working with the CEO, the board and partners to champion this wonderful county of ours. As a business location, Kent and Medway has so much to offer. We have world class food producers, growers and farmers, a beautiful coastline, a thriving arts sector and successful science-based research organisations. On top of that we have fantastic connections to both London and Europe. Where else would you want to live and work?!”

“Along with the board and staff we will continue to attract more investment and jobs to the county and support our growing talent pool and excellent universities. Kent has a great story to tell and we want new businesses with the right vision, innovation and drive to join us.”

Susie Warran-Smith was the founder and sole owner of the multiple award-winning Breakthrough Funding, which was sold to EY (Ernst & Young) in 2020. Personal accolades have included being named Kent Businesswoman of the Year and the London and South East Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors. She was awarded a CBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list for services to Small Business. Susie is also the current chair of Produced in Kent and a member of The Kent and Medway Investment Advisory Board.