TWO of the region's leading figures are joining the South West Business Council (SWBC) statutory board.

Catherine Mathews, partner at Stephens Scown LLP, and Paula Hewitt, on the executive team at Somerset County Coiuncil, have a combined experience of nearly 60 years in the infrastructure and legal sectors.

The board works at a strategic level to deliver sustainable economic prosperity for the South West.

SWBC chief executive Paul Coles said: “We are thrilled to welcome Catherine and Paula to the Board, whose legal and infrastructure expertise will continue to serve the South West through our network of members, partners and stakeholders.

“The SWBC is committed to encouraging more women into senior business roles and influential boards."

Ms Hewitt said: “Having lived and worked in Somerset for over 30 years, I know the South West is filled with fantastic people and places, but that it also faces challenges in terms of connectivity and resilience. I am committed to helping outstanding regional businesses grow.”

Ms Mathews said: “SWBC plays a significant part in unlocking opportunities and driving business success in the South West. I am thrilled to be at the forefront of development in the region by acting on the board, where I plan to guide members with strategic and legal support to enable flourishing business activity and continued growth.”