The head of a lab which specialises in some of the world’s most advanced technology like artificial intelligence and quantum computing will be the voice of Halton businesses on a new enterprise board.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram recently announced the makeup of the new Business and Enterprise Board for the Liverpool City Region (LCR), which is replacing the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is designed to provide a forum and representation for companies across the sub-region.

One co-opted member will be Professor Katherine Royse, who has been appointed to represent Halton businesses and provide the board with digital expertise.

She is the director of the Hartree Centre, an advanced computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence research facility based at Sci-Tech Daresbury.

Prior to joining the centre in 2022, she was the chief digital officer at the British Geological Survey and has extensive experience in digital innovation, product development and data analytics and modelling. She also has a PhD in geoscience and honorary professorship from Nottingham university.

Welcoming the launch, Halton Council leader Mike Wharton - who is also the LCR cabinet member for Economic Development and Business - said: “We’ve made a huge effort to find a diverse range of business leaders from across the city region who can make sure that the business voice is at the heart of our decision-making process.

“We’ve been able to appoint a group of very impressive individuals who I’m sure will come together as a cohesive and effective board.”

The LCR is made up of six councils, including Halton, and Mr Rotheram said that thriving local businesses were 'the backbone' of the local economy.

He said: "We have pulled together a team that boasts decades of hand-on experience at leading organisations and, it’s my hope, that their knowledge and insight will help us to join-up our thinking with fresh ideas to grow our economy.”