Why Roger Marsh was honoured at the YP Excellence in Business Awards

Roger Marsh receiving his award at Emerald Stadium Headingley - Pic by Tony Johnson
Roger Marsh receiving his award at Emerald Stadium Headingley - Pic by Tony Johnson
Have your say

Picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Excellence in Business Awards capped off a very auspicious week for Roger Marsh.

Just 24 hours earlier he had been named deputy lieutenant for West Yorkshire.

Roger Marsh receiving his award at Emerald Stadium Headingley with Cathy Newman and Mark Casci - Pic by Tony Johnson

Roger Marsh receiving his award at Emerald Stadium Headingley with Cathy Newman and Mark Casci - Pic by Tony Johnson

Read more: All the winners from this year's Excellence in Business Awards
No sooner had that sunk in then he was receiving a standing ovation from more than 400 people in the Emerald Suite at the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos.

Mr Marsh has spent a lifetime working for Yorkshire’s economy.

A graduate of the University of Leeds, he spent many years at PwC in the city, eventually running

the Yorkshire and North East operations for the professional services giant, capping off a successful 35 years in the private sector and overseeing some of the largest deals in the region’s corporate history.

Mr Marsh in conversation.

Mr Marsh in conversation.

He has served in the Cabinet Office of Her Majesty’s Government and overseen the construction of the permanent memorial to those British servicemen and women who lost their lives in the conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since 2013 he has been the chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

During that time he has led the LEP through a period of significant transformation.

He worked to secure the country’s largest ever Local Growth Deal with Government.

Roger Marsh in City Square

Roger Marsh in City Square

Mr Marsh has worked in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to effectively promotes Leeds City Region on a national and international scale,

He also serves as chairs the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund Strategic Oversight Board as well as the newly formed NP11 which brings together the Chairs of the 11 Northern LEPs.

In 2015, Mr Marsh was honoured at he highest level when he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for Services to Business and the Economy.

Additionally, Roger is Chair of The Piece Hall Trust, leading the independent charity tasked with transforming the Grade I Listed building in Halifax.

He is also a member of the Council of the University of Leeds and an Honorary Doctor of the University of Huddersfield.

Stepping up to be presented with his award by Cathy Newman from Channel 4, Mr Marsh said that helping to lead the bid to bring the broadcaster to Leeds was one of the highlights of his glittering career.

Mr Marsh attributed the success to showcasing to Channel 4 that Leeds could allow it to fulfil its original mission statement of being an organisation that did something differently and supported the independent sector, something that he said the region’s economy excelled at.

Mr Marsh added that he hoped that the future of the region’s economy would help drive up living standards and provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds, as well as ensuring that poverty be eradicated.

Ahead of his presentation, a video montage of well-wishers was screened in which his achievements were spelt out.

Sinead Rocks, head of regions for Channel 4, praised Mr Marsh’s work in making the broadcaster receive such a warm welcome in the city.

Sir Alan Langland, vice chairman of the University of Leeds, said: “Roger deserves the award because he has a great track record and loyalty to Leeds. His work to Government and local Government has provided a tremendous boost to the city.”

Natalie Sykes, regional director of the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire, said: “Roger is one of the most authentic leaders to grace our northern business community.

“Roger pushes forward the agenda for Yorkshire and the North East on a national level.

“He has been instrumental in the renaissance of the Piece Hall which has been a true jewel in the regeneration of Halifax.”

Mr Marsh follows in the footsteps of the likes of Morrisons founder Sir Ken Morrison, former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose and JCT600 founder and chairman Jack Tordoff in receiving the award.

Mark Casci, business editor of The Yorkshire Post, said: “Life in Yorkshire is better for everyone for having had Roger work in it.

“His love and affection for the region shines through every time you meet him.

“His legacy will be seen in the myriad people and organisations that have chosen to be based in the region as a result of his endeavours.

“Myself and everyone at The Yorkshire Post are very proud to mark his achievements in this manner and are grateful for all of his hard work and leadership throughout the years.”