Tributes paid to Mark Duddridge, Chair of Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP

4 Mark Duddridge

Tributes have been paid to Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Parnership (LEP) following his sad passing at the age of 60 at his home in South East Cornwall on 16th May.

Mark was a tireless ambassador for Cornwall, its businesses, and the wider economic and social aspirations of the county.

He was appointed Chair of the LEP in 2016 following a 20-year career in the food industry with Samworth Brothers, including 15 years as managing director of Ginsters. Before that he held a variety of roles with Northern Foods, including commercial director. Latterly he was also a director of Rodda’s and managing director of Pasta King.

Mark also brought his energy and skills to support a diverse range of socially driven businesses, organisations and charities.

He became Group Chair of Coastline Housing in 2021 and was also an associate Non-Executive Director of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He was a trustee of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, a trustee of Chicks (Countryside Holidays for Inner City Kids) and a past governor of Callington Community College.

A passionate gig rower, Mark was a member of Caradon Gig Rowing Club and a veteran of several World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly.

Glenn Caplin-Grey, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “We are all deeply saddened by this devastating news and our thoughts are with Mark’s wife Amber and his family, friends and colleagues. Mark was a true champion of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, always hugely generous with his time and with an energy and passion that was an inspiration.

“His leadership at a regional and national level was always in the absolute interests of Cornwall and Scilly, and never his own. He worked tirelessly through the pandemic as chair of the Covid Economy Recovery Group to support businesses and communities across the region and was a driving force in setting Cornwall’s future economic ambitions so that no-one is left behind.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that Mark’s legacy is one of a more inclusive, ambitious and prosperous Cornwall. There was so much more he wanted to do, and it behoves all of us to carry his legacy forward.”

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Great South West Partnership and the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The news of Mark’s death is incredibly sad and my thoughts and those of the rest of the Great South West Partnership board are with Mark’s family, friends and colleagues. I have known Mark for over 20 years, having first met him when he was the MD of Ginsters.  Mark was passionate about trying to drive the economy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the benefit of all and in the last four years has worked with me and colleagues to get the Great South West recognised and funded by Government. Mark managed very well to maintain his passion for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and intertwine this with a passion for the whole of the Great South West region.  We will all miss his enthusiasm, drive and commitment to trying to make Cornwall and the Great South West a better place for everyone who lives and works here.”

Allister Young, Chief Executive of Coastline Housing, also paid tribute to Mark. He said: “This is such sad news and we have barely begun to take it in. We are all deeply upset and extend our heartfelt condolences to Mark’s family and friends. Mark joined Coastline as our chair in 2021 and what made him so brilliant in his job was his commitment to trying to make sure communities in Cornwall have a bright, prosperous future and that everyone has a decent, secure home to live in. He regarded it as a personal crusade and that drive and passion to bring people together typified his approach.

“He had boundless energy and was always pushing us forward to do things better. But it was never in an adversarial way. His unassuming approach and personal modesty meant that people wanted to do their best for him, and that’s what made him such an exemplary leader. Above all he was a profoundly warm, personable and selfless character. He is a great loss to Cornwall and Scilly, and all those who knew him.”

Details of Mark’s funeral will be announced in due course. If anyone would like to offer messages of condolence to his family they can do so through the LEP by emailing info@cioslep.com