New chair appointed to East Midlands Freeport

Nora Senior CBE, has been appointed non-executive chair of the UK's only inland freeport

East Midlands Freeport chair Nora Senior

The East Midlands Freeport, the UK’s only inland freeport, has announced that Nora Senior CBE, has been appointed non-executive Chairperson of the Board, on an initial 3-year term.

Over the course of a 30-year career in industry, Nora has held a number of senior leadership positions, latterly as Group Executive Chair of global communications and government relations consultancy, Weber Shandwick, and previously with Saatchi and Saatchi. In these roles, she has advised clients across a wide range of sectors, including ports, property/construction, energy, finance, healthcare, technology and FMCG, delivering multi-country programmes including China, Europe, the USA and Africa.

Nora has extensive experience at non-exec board level in both public and private sector organisations, having been President of British Chambers of Commerce and presently as a Board Member of International Chambers of Commerce, which has UN observer status.  She is also an external member of the House of Lords Commission and is a previous regional adviser to the London Stock Exchange.  She remains an International Trade Emissary for Chambers of Commerce.  Nora’s regional links include being Vice Chair of Council at the University of Nottingham


I am delighted to take on this important role and look forward to building on the significant work which has already been undertaken on EMF. I believe the freeport will be a catalyst for showcasing the strengths of the region in terms of technology, manufacturing and innovation, attracting new investment in these areas and driving economic growth and social benefit in the East Midlands.

I look forward to working with the Board and wider team to deliver the ambitions of this unique freeport and increase momentum and visibility around the programmes to attract global trade and investment.


Nora Senior will transition into the role, taking over from Penny Coates, who has been acting interim Chairperson of EMF during its founding phase, and who led the Board successfully to complete the Outline Business Case submission. All EMF Board and partners thank Penny for her significant efforts in the role, which has been crucial in bringing significant investment into the East Midlands.

Commenting on the appointment of the Nora Senior, Penny Coates commented:

“It has been a pleasure to work with the East Midlands Freeport Board and the team at EY as interim Chairperson for the last year.  We have developed a successful business case and reached the point of the tax sites achieving designation and beginning to trade. This milestone allows us to appoint a permanent Board and I am delighted to welcome Nora Senior as the Chair of that Board. Nora has superb international development expertise and the time to steer EMF towards the considerable potential that it offers for our region. I would like to thank everybody involved for the support and cooperation that they have shown me as interim Chairperson during the development phase and wish Nora every success going forwards.”



Find out more:

  • EMF submitted its Full Business Case to Government in March this year and is imminently awaiting the outcome of its review. Full Business Case approval and formal ‘launch’ is anticipated later in 2022. EMF is England’s only inland Freeport; focused on low carbon and renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, advanced logistics and research and development, it is anticipated to create over 61,000 jobs in the region and deliver a regional GVA uplift to the East Midlands of £8.4bn.
  • The EMF Board is made up of 12 constituent members:
  • Private Sector: SEGRO, Maritime Transport, Uniper UK, Etwall Land Limited (SevernTrent), Goodman, East Midlands Airport
  • Public Sector: Leicestershire County Council, Derbyshire County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, North West Leicestershire County Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council

More about investment opportunities at EMF  


Leicestershire Matters

The council’s Forestry & Arboriculture team take care of over 321,000 trees across the county

Spotlight shines on council's leading efforts to tackle deadly tree disease

'Incredibly popular' support as children cycle, walk or wheel to school

Watch today's meeting online

Partnership work will bring better understanding of mental health across city, county and Rutland

Funding boost to bring thousands of new charging points to the county