World Bank advisor takes city region Freeport role

Following the Liverpool city region securing Freeport status a senior advisor to the World Bank has been recruited to oversee its development. Tony McDonough reports

Thomas O’Brien
Thomas O’Brien is chair designate of the Liverpool City Region Freeport Management Board


A senior advisor to the World Bank is the new chair designate of the Liverpool City Region Freeport Management Board to oversee the new Freeport.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership announced the appointment of Thomas O’Brien following an extensive recruitment campaign. The board will oversee the development and operation of the LCR Freeport.

Mr O’Brien is originally from Liverpool and has worked for more than 25 years for the World Bank based in Washington DC as senior adviser on economic and development policy to Governments around the world.

He served for four years from 2001-2005 in his home city region as chief executive of The Mersey Partnership and has also been an economic adviser at HM Treasury. He will return to take up the role in the autumn.

“I am honoured to take on this important role,” he said. “The Liverpool City Region Freeport is an exciting new programme, of national significance, that will create new jobs and better business locations to the benefit of people across our community.”

Asif Hamid, LEP chair and chair of the appointments committee, said: “This is a hugely significant appointment for the city region. The Freeport offers a huge opportunity to accelerate our economic growth and create thousands of new jobs for the local community.”

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