Leeds Chamber of Commerce has elected a new President. Amanda Beresford succeeds Paula Dillon, who has held the post for the last two years. Amanda, a Partner and Head of Planning with law firm Shulmans, was elected at the annual meeting of Leeds Chamber’s Leadership Group recently (Friday 12 July). Amanda had been in the role of Vice-President until the election, and that role is now filled by Mike Briffett of Turner & Townsend. Amanda Beresford said: “I’m very honoured to take on the role as President of Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Paula has done a fantastic job over the last two years and I look forward to pushing ahead with our efforts while also introducing some of my own plans and ideas. Leeds is the economic powerhouse of the region. It is in a period of great change that will affect the environment within which Leeds businesses operate. In the next few years, plans for better connectivity through HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will be advanced; the recently adopted development plan for sites for new housing and employment will move into an implementation phase; a roadmap to address the climate change emergency, recently declared by the Council, will emerge and Brexit will still be on the horizon. Leeds has seen record levels of investment lately but there are ongoing challenges for business, such as the skills gap and funding. I have been involved with Leeds Chamber of Commerce for many years and, as President, I look forward to being a strong voice and representative of our members during the next couple of years, working with partners and other stakeholders in relation to all of these matters and more.” The Chamber will reveal more details of Amanda’s plans for the next two years in the weeks and months to come. Chief Executive of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Needham, added: “We’re grateful to Paula for her efforts over the last two years, and looking forward to working closely with Amanda and Mike during this next period. It’s a great time to be running a business in West & North Yorkshire and we have some wonderful ambassadors and campaigners within our family, not least of which are in Leeds.” The Leadership Group is the main policy-making body of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, and that function is replicated across the other two geographical areas of the business support organisation, in Bradford and York & North Yorkshire. The group met before a lunch meeting that heard from technology guru Amul Batra of Northcoders.