Blackburn appoints Martin Kelly to boost growth

Blackburn with Darwen Council has appointed Martin Kelly to its senior team to oversee growth and development in the borough.

Martin Kelly Blackburn with Darwen Council


In his new role, he will be responsible for the growth strategies, strategic transport and infrastructure development, town centres and planning and property services.

The council explained Martin's new role as working with colleagues and public and private sector partners to ensure that the organisation's growth priorities are positioned within Lancashire’s emerging Local Industrial Strategy and new national investment frameworks, while supporting the council’s leadership role in shaping the priorities of new pan-Lancashire, Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North partnerships.

Councillor Phil Riley, executive member for regeneration, said: "Martin brings lots of experience and expertise of large scale growth projects and will be a great asset to the continuing revival of the borough.

"The challenge of the cuts continues and it’s important we recruit high calibre people like Martin to help make sure Blackburn with Darwen attracts investment and maximises income opportunities."

Martin said: "There is a clear desire to make a difference for the residents, communities and businesses here which was central to my decision to join."

Martin previously spent nine years as director of economic development and planning at Lancashire County Council, and the chief operating officer of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership since 2012

He was responsible for securing a £1bn growth and investment programme, which included a £320m Growth Deal and the development of Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone. Prior to that, he worked for nearly ten years at Manchester City Council as head of the chief executive’s policy unit with other senior policy and development roles with Bolton Council, the former North West Regional Development Agency and Leeds Business School.