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Gloucestershire Business News

Versarien founder takes on Forest of Dean development role

Neill Ricketts, co-founder of graphene manufacturing pioneers Versarien, has been appointed to chair the Forest of Dean Economic Partnership.

His appointment to replace Andrew Callard, who stood down after two-and-a-half years in September, has been confirmed by the partnership board.

Mr Ricketts, who lives in the Forest of Dean, is a board member of the local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP and believes the area has plenty of strengths to build on.

He said: "Forest of Dean reflects my school reports - lots of potential, could do better. That's what we want to do, to help the area achieve its full potential.

"I'm passionate about the skills agenda and inspiring the younger generation in the area. I'd like to think if I can do it, anybody else can do it.

"I see this working alongside my position on the GFirst LEP board. I'm passionate about the local area and making sure we can do everything we can."

He continued: "It's a challenging time and I want to do everything I can to help get everybody through this.

"I'm keen to see people who have been laid off from much larger companies have the freedom of working for themselves and supporting them through the Growth Hubs.

"The world has changed and we've got to embrace that change. There will be more people working from home. There will be more small businesses and the FEP os there alongside the LEP to help make that happen for people."

Versarien, which is based at Staverton, is working to create innovative engineering solutions using graphene-infused materials.

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