It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Mark passed away unexpectedly at his home in south east Cornwall yesterday, May 16. He was 60.
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.”
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 email@example.com