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Awards 2024
Gary Mc Keating 1

Highly-experienced West Cumbria regeneration leader takes reins at iSH

A WELL-KNOWN and highly-experienced leader in economic development and social impact has been appointed as the new Managing Director of a high-profile, forward-thinking and collaborative organisation in the region.

Gary McKeating, Head of Development and Community at Sellafield Ltd and leading the organisation’s social impact programme, has been appointed as the new Managing Director of iSH (the Industrial Solutions Hub), which is backed by Cumberland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Sellafield Ltd.

Gary, brought up in West Cumbria, has more than 30 years of industry experience, and has been appointed on a two-year secondment to lead iSH after previous Managing Director John Maddison’s two-year tenure, which involved successfully launching the organisation in March 2022, ended in December.

iSH aims to support the creation of jobs and opportunities through collaboration between industry, business, academia and community across the West Cumbria region and beyond.

An iSH Enterprise Campus (iEC) at Leconfield, Cleator Moor, is set to anchor the evolving business ecosystem in West Cumbria. The iEC is being developed in two phases and involves significant funding support from the Government’s Towns Fund (£22.5m) and Levelling Up Fund (£20m), alongside support from Sellafield, the NDA and Cumberland Council.

Gary, who will take over the iSH MD role full-time at the end of next month, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Managing Director of iSH to build on what has been achieved so far and to ensure the organisation achieves maximum economic and social impact through its activities across West Cumbria and beyond.”

Gary arrives in the role with a strong background and reputation in inward investment, strategy development, stakeholder relations at a senior level, and leadership of multi-million-pound programmes of work with significant social impact outcomes.

Eirini Etoimou, Sellafield Ltd’s Head of Corporate Sustainability & Supply Chain Development and Sourcing, said of Gary’s appointment: “At Sellafield we are committed to supporting our local communities and being an inextricable part of them.

“The Industrial Solutions Hub (iSH) is a high-profile programme which aims to support the regeneration of the local community at Leconfield and beyond.

“Gary is a dedicated and very well experienced professional in the social impact and economic development field, with a great reputation within the region for his commitment and for caring for the local community. We are proud of him and we wish him great success in his new role.”

Leader of Cumberland Council, Cllr Mark Fryer, added: “We welcome Gary and look forward to developing the iSH programme with partners. We are building for the future and alongside other schemes in Cumberland, iSH will support our area’s growth and economic future.”