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Sheffield City Council Executive Director elected to Institute of Economic Development Board


Kate Martin, Executive Director of City Futures at Sheffield City Council, has been elected to the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Board.

With over 22 years’ experience successfully supporting local and regional government in place-shaping and growth, including at Executive Director level for Sheffield City Council and Southampton City Council and as a former Director of the London Borough of Camden and City of Wolverhampton councils, Kate is one of the country’s foremost leaders in economic development and place planning for growth.

Kate joined Sheffield City Council in March 2022 to set up a new City Futures Directorate for the city. Her portfolio includes leadership of economy, culture, investment, regeneration and local and international place-shaping partnerships for the UK’s fourth largest city. Kate is Sheffield’s lead working with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, as part of the recently-launched South Yorkshire Investment Zone working with central government and regional partners.

A member of the IED for over 10 years, Kate’s election as a full Board member was confirmed at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting earlier on 11th December, having originally been co-opted in February. 

“As a country we are facing the most significant economic development challenges for a generation, and we need to support professionals involved in economic development, so I am delighted to have been elected to the IED Board,” Kate said.

“Following the launch of the IED’s Grow Local, Grow National manifesto last month, we have a clear campaign for change to give councils great statutory powers over economic development, and play a leading role in shaping the UK longer-term. That conversation about the economy and sustainable growth, devolution deals and regional growth, must also be unpinned by effective skills development and professional support. The IED is perfectly positioned to lead on this agenda.”

Kate explained that the IED’s manifesto would “strengthen the profession for economic development practitioners”, and in turn present an opportunity to broaden diversity and give rise to new talent and up-and-coming voices.

“As part of my remit with the IED, I am really committed to encouraging new and different voices,” she continued. “I was involved with the Institute as a student/trainee member, and the training, networking and CPD I accessed in my early career has contributed to my progression in a range of roles. Over time, I have seen the organisation grow and be more representative and inclusive, and we must now co-create with young people new paths for economic development practitioners and our response to the next generation of challenges we face as the country goes through an industrial transition.

“Throughout my career I have used knowledge and insight emerging from the IED for policy shaping and strategic planning, as it is always up to date with new topics. Now I am excited about helping the Institute champion the support our membership needs now and for the future.”

Kate is also Deputy Chair of the UK ADEPT Sustainable Growth Board, a Member of the Institute of Place Management, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and an Advisory Board Member to Sheffield Business School.

IED Chair Tom Stannard added: “I am delighted that Kate has been elected to our Board by the IED membership following her original co-opted appointment earlier this year. Kate is one of the country’s leading economic development professionals, bringing a wealth of experience across a number of roles across local government, and we have already significantly benefitted from her strategic and operational input.”