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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has appointed to two key leadership roles.

Richard McGuckin has been appointed to the role of Executive Director Place, while Dr Aileen Jones has been appointed as Executive Director Investment and Delivery.

Richard joins the Combined Authority from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, where he is currently Director of Town Centres Investment, while Aileen is currently interim Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning and Delivery at the Combined Authority.

The posts complete the Combined Authority’s executive team, coming five months since the appointment of the Authority’s new Chief Executive, Katherine Fairclough.

These key leadership roles will be crucial in driving forward the Combined Authority’s ambitions.

Working closely with partners, they will provide strategic expertise, advice and guidance on place-shaping and regeneration, integrated transport, infrastructure, investment and project delivery to unlock the potential of the City Region and drive inclusive economic growth and social value.

Welcoming the appointments, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:

“We have massive ambitions for the Liverpool City Region in the years to come – be it a fully integrated London-style transport system, a local green industrial revolution, or the creation of high-quality, high-paid jobs through strategic investment.

“We need a top-level team with the skills and experience to get us there and Richard and Aileen fit that bill.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the team in the months and years ahead”.

Katherine Fairclough, Chief Executive of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said:

“I am delighted to welcome Richard and Aileen to our team at the Combined Authority.

“These appointments are a result of a rigorous recruitment process and in Richard and Aileen we are fortunate to have secured two candidates of huge experience and of the highest calibre. I and my executive team are looking forward to working closely with them to deliver our ambitions.

“Liverpool City Region is an amazing place with so many strengths and so much potential and I know that Richard and Aileen will play a key role in helping build on that to unlock our economic potential for the benefit of the people we serve.”

Richard will join the Combined Authority in early February, while Aileen will begin her new role with immediate effect.

Richard is a Chartered Civil Engineer and joins the Combined Authority from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. An experienced local government director, he has led a diverse portfolio of services that includes Highways, Transport, Planning, Housing, Economic Growth and Business Investment. Most recently, he has been leading on ambitions to transform the Borough’s six town centres.

He has also played an instrumental role in the setting up and then early management of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, chairing its Transport Advisory Group.

Aileen is currently interim Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning and Delivery at the Combined Authority. She joined the Authority in 2018 as Head of Evidence, Research and Intelligence and became Assistant Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning in October 2019.

With a PhD in public policy, she has split her career between public and private sectors, with previous roles including the Head of UK Public Policy for HSBC, Deputy Director of the Heseltine Institute at the University of Liverpool and spells in Westminster as a Committee specialist leading select committee enquiries, at the Financial Services Authority, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the General Medical Council.

Richard McGuckin said:

“I’m delighted to be taking up the post of Executive Director Place for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

“I know that the Authority is already achieving great things to make it an even better place for its residents and I’m looking forward to making my contribution to that.

“I’ll be working with closely with our local authorities, transport operators, businesses and communities with a clear focus on place-shaping and the power of integrated transport and infrastructure as a key enabler for inclusive economic growth.”

Dr Aileen Jones said:

“Since I joined the Combined Authority in 2018 I’ve seen how our investments and the key projects we deliver are having a real impact on improving people’s lives.

I’m very pleased to be appointed to the permanent position of Executive Director Investment and Delivery and to continuing to drive forward this vital work.

“Working with our partners, my key priorities include taking forward our investment strategy alongside developing our plan for prosperity, making sure we have a high-quality pipeline of projects so we are ready to secure funding and encouraging more inward investment to the city region, alongside delivering key projects in skills, employment, housing and tackling homelessness.”