COED – The role

Chief Officer Economic Development
Salary: £82k to £90k (pay award pending)

Leeds is a diverse, vibrant, city with all this entails.  We have with a thriving economy, with a tough urban core alongside market towns.  Our vision is that we become the ‘Best city in the UK’ by 2030, which means:

– Leeds will be fair, open and welcoming

– Leeds’ economy will be prosperous and sustainable

– All Leeds’ communities will be successful

The Leeds economy has radically changed in the last decade.  We’ve made up ground where we were lagging and have kept going.  We’re now turning heads for the pace of change, our clarity, focus and priorities.  But we’re not complacent.  We are determined to get the best deal for all our residents for every pound of investment in the city.  Inclusive growth is part of our DNA, it’s part of being Yorkshire.

The new Chief Officer, Economic Development will work alongside the Council Leader and Chief Executive to push the boundaries on our thinking, taking the city to the next level and, in the process, changing the lives of generations.  You’re brief will be to shape national and regional thinking, influence where you can, be visible, be brave, innovate, take risks and drive the agenda for Leeds.  You’ll have permission to think the unthinkable, to talk to partners at the highest level, to create alliances across sectors, across organisations and nationally across government.  Underpinning this will be a real passion for Leeds and a commitment to using this exceptional platform to raise the bar for the city.

Reporting to the Director of City Development, the scope of your work will go way beyond city boundaries whilst always staying connected to them.  Within the city you’ll quickly gain a reputation for building alliances that create real change.  You’ll know when to pass a project or programme on to others to ensure delivery, and when a programme just won’t work.  At times this might seem ruthless, but you’ll know that too many false starts or vague promises damage confidence.  You’ll focus on real results underpinned by an exceptional analysis of the city and city region.  You’ll win the confidence of partners because of what you achieve, alongside your grasp of the economic opportunities in Leeds and beyond.

Without being entrenched in economic development, you’ll see what needs to change in our economy.   You’ll have worked on strategies that change economies in cities, whether in traditional economic development or another allied area like digital or tech, skills or business investment.  You’ll get what makes cities special, will have succeeded in them and will bring their diversity and dynamics together.   You’ll be able to convince others that you bring real intellectual dexterity to the role, with the capacity to adapt, change, learn, flex, grow and always to lead.  Alongside your undoubted capacity to shape thinking will be exceptional relationship building skills.  You’ll be expert at using soft influence to bring people together and make a difference.  You won’t think in straight lines, and your career might be equally unorthodox.

Priorities in the next year, and the next 5 years, will remain the same.  Accelerate Leeds’ growth, build partnerships, work with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Whitehall to get a better deal, link businesses to people and each other, support growth and advise members, tackle the tough issues, break the deadlock and unleash the best of Yorkshire.  In the role, you’ll also be responsible for a team in the service area of 40 (30.04 fte), a staffing budget £1.3m and a revenue budget £585k.  If you can do this, and more, then this role just might be for you.

More Information


Closing Date10am 26 February Monday
First stage interview12 or 14 March TBC.
Discussion about the role for shortlisted candidates with senior management at LeedsTBC – will take place in week before final interview
Final stage interview and assessment centreThursday 12 April

stephen cooley Portrait

Stephen Cooley

tel: 07747 698 829

Mark Tobin portrait

Mark Tobin

tel: 07717 725 844