The new LEP is one of a network created across the country to replace regional development agencies.

The Partnership has already helped to develop a 20-year vision for the region and aims to play a key role in delivering 95,000 new jobs in the former Avon area by 2030 and attracting at least £1 billion of private sector investment over the next five years.

Chaired by Wessex Water Chairman Colin Skellett, it will also be able to bid for a share of a national £1.4 billion regional growth fund over the next three years.

Professor Breakwell has been appointed to the Board to represent the Higher Education sector in the region and will therefore be speaking on behalf of not only the University of Bath but also Bath Spa University, University of the West of England and the University of Bristol.

“This region is known for its innovation, creativity and its highly skilled workforce – many of whom were educated in its universities,” said Professor Breakwell.

“It is generally a prosperous area with a good quality of life and a growing national and international reputation, but in the current economic climate it faces plenty of challenges in the future.

“This new partnership is tasked with helping maintain this quality of life and creating the right conditions for future growth in the region.”

Professor Breakwell is joined on the Board by representatives from the four unitary authorities in the region as well as key business leaders.