A MAN with over 30 years experience working in some of Britain’s largest financial institutions is to become the first chairman of Ellesmere Port’s Development Board.

Robert Mee, 59, former Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland Retail Business before leaving in 2002 to pursue other business interests, has been selected from 16 candidates, to lead the partnership of public and private sector expertise, formed to carve out a bright future for the town.

His Chester career started in 1981, at Capital Bank PLC where he ultimately became Managing Director, working in partnership with some of the UK’s largest businesses including Centrica, Sainsbury’s and the AA.

Robert, from Chester, said: “I have enjoyed living and working in this area and I am delighted to have been given the chance of using my experience to give something back.

“There are some tough challenges ahead but at the same time, Ellesmere Port offers opportunity in the shape of diverse businesses, good sites, first class transport links - including the Mersey and ship canal - and a readily available work force.

“And, of course, there are already some very successful companies based in the area which will help us convey the right messages about the potential that the town offers for future investment.

“It will not be a short road, particularly in these difficult financial times, but I look forward to the challenge.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council has led the formation of the Development Board to oversee investment in the area with the aim of improving employment, the environment and general quality of life.

Cllr Herbert Manley, Executive Member, Regeneration said: “Mr. Mee brings a wealth of experience in the commercial and financial worlds, together with first class organisational skills honed at a very high level.

“He’s under no illusions about the size of the task ahead but shares our determination to bring public and private sector together to secure a bright future for Ellesmere Port and its residents.”

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller has been invited to become a member of a 10-strong Board and advertisements will invite applications for other board members on August 24.

A 10-strong Board will be appointed and media advertisements will invite applications from interested parties on August 24.

Closing dates for applications is September 22 with interviews on Oct 12 and 13.