The Wokingham Paper

British Business Bank appoints UK Network Director for the South and East of England

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The British Business Bank has appointed Warren Ralls as UK Network Director, South and East of England.

The British Business Bank – the government-owned economic development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses – said it has established a UK Network, with team members based within each of the English regions and the three Devolved Nations.

It helps small business finance intermediaries enhance business finance ecosystems across the UK, so smaller businesses, wherever they are, can grow and prosper.

It also helps the Bank develop a deeper understanding of small business finance markets in all parts of the UK, so that it can improve support to smaller businesses.

Mr Ralls and his team will represent the UK Network across the South and East of England and will engage closely with business finance intermediaries in these areas.

Prior to joining the Bank, Warren was Director for the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Network, the representative body for the 38 LEPs operating across England, leading a network of LEP Chairs and CEOs throughout the country.

He has also held a number of economic development roles across the south of England, including positions with South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Business Link for Surrey, Urban Futures London Ltd. and TS²k.

Judith Hartley, managing director of UK Network, said: “Warren brings with him a wide network of senior stakeholder contacts across not just the South and East of the country but the whole of England.

“I am confident he will be a great addition to the team as we work to help identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across those regions.”

And Mr Ralls said: “I am delighted to be joining the British Business Bank at such an important time for the UK business community. Working with colleagues in the UK Network, I am thrilled to be helping smaller businesses across the UK to be better informed about how to access sources of investment at all stages of their development, as highlighted in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

“This role will require the close support of stakeholders across the South and East of England, and I look forward to continuing existing relationships and building new ones.”

The UK Network is part of the British Business Bank’s new Demand Development Unit, which has been specifically created to raise the Bank’s profile and relationship with smaller businesses across the UK.

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