LEP board meets at top secret location

16 November 2015

The LEP Board routinely vary their meeting venues so as to ensure they cover all parts of our patch, which is the largest of any LEP’s in the country. This can prove quite a challenge, but never more so than for the November Board which met at the top secret location of the GCHQ base in Scarborough.

As the Leadership Support Officer (better known as a PA) for James Farrar, I got in touch to ask if it would be possible for the LEP board to visit for a meeting. Now this was a bit of a headache, after numerous emails, detailed lists of attendees including where they are from, full names and date of births (a few were a shock!) it was finally agreed that we could visit.

After all of the preparation, we all converged on a site near Scarborough on a very rainy and foggy morning, to receive a very warm welcome from the staff on site.

Due to the tightness of security there were to be no phones, tablets, laptops or other electrical devices allowed past the car park. This did make for some fidgety hands as the board sat down and couldn’t do a The LEP board meeting at GCHQ in Scarboroughquick check of emails before the meeting started. It also meant the whole board had to revert to the old fashion method of paper and pen.

Following the meeting, the Station Head came and talked us through the very interesting history of the site, telling us how the site had been involved in pivotal moments in history and detailing the plans for expansion in the future. After the meeting, we had a bite to eat and a chance to catch up. Then Kev, from the GCHQ museum section, brought out an original enigma machine. This caused a ripple of excitement as this was probably a once in a life time opportunity and we were all given the chance to have a play ourselves.

So after a very successful board meeting with wonderful hosts, we left the Yorkshire coast, now basked in glorious sunshine. As I drove back over Sutton Bank I did wonder how I was to top that location for our next board meeting. If anyone knows of a top secret bunker or lighthouse we can use please get in touch.