A BUSINESS leader has taken on another senior role on a Dorset-wide board.

Ian Girling, chief executive of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has been appointed to the board of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Mr Girling joined the chamber in 2013, having previously managed Business Link in Dorset before the government-funded advice service was closed. He then led the launch of the successor service in Dorset in 2012.

The chamber has around 800 members representing 37,000 employees. It is Dorset’s leading chamber and is accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce, providing a voice for Dorset business at a local, regional and national level.

It has eight affiliated chambers in Bridport, Broadstone, Dorchester, Ferndown, Poole, Shaftesbury, Swanage, and Weymouth and Portland, and also holds the secretariat for the Dorset Business Alliance - a strategic partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors.

Together they represent more than 5,000 businesses employing nearly 50,000 people.

Dorset LEP is a business-led private and public sector partnership that aims to create jobs and deliver economic growth across the county.

Gordon Page, partnership chairman, said: "Having DCCI representation on our board reaffirms our commitment to supporting the local business community.

"The success of business is essential to Dorset’s economy and this is why we have invested in a number of initiatives to help businesses grow such as the Dorset Growth Hub.

"We are now delighted to have strategic input from Ian Girling and DCCI to help us to further understand, and to try and meet, local business needs."

Mr Girling said: “I am very pleased to be appointed to the LEP board on behalf of DCCI.

"We feel, and wider business tells us, that it is very important to have a strong business voice on the LEP board.

"The chamber also has strong relationships with other member organisations in business as well as influence at a very high level through the British Chambers of Commerce.

"I am looking forward to supporting and contributing to the LEP and its future success."

Dorset LEP’s board of directors consists of business leaders from different sectors, local authority representatives, and higher and further education sector representatives.