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About Me

I was born in Moss Side, Manchester in 1953, went to University in Liverpool in the 1970’s and have lived in Milton Keynes since 1986. I love all three cities!

I am currently Chair of The Scouts - the first woman to be elected as Chair of Trustees in the movement’s 108 year history and Vice Chair of the City & Guilds of London Institute.

I was founding Chair of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) one of 38 private - sector led economic development partnerships (LEPs) set up in 2010 by the Coalition Government to stimulate innovation, inward investment, economic growth and job creation. SEMLEP is the 5th largest LEP in England and was the country’s highest performing LEP judged ‘exceptional’ in all areas by government in March 2019 when I ended by term of office. I am now a LEP Ambassador.

As former Group Chief Executive and main board director of the University for Industry (Ufi Ltd), I was responsible, at senior civil servant level, for the successful implementation of the UK government’s flagship e-learning initiative learndirect as well as the development of other nationwide e-services through the UK online and Directgov programmes.

From 2004 to 2010, I worked as Senior Vice President for the international strategic management consultancy Citizen Service Transformation as well as working as a government adviser both in the UK and overseas. In this capacity, I worked with the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Sir Nick Clegg, when he was a MEP; I was also an independent member of Education Committee, part of the Public Services Improvement Policy Group set up by the former Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron. I had served as a member of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s, Digital Inclusion Panel between 2000 and 2005 and between 2010 and 2015, I sat on the Labour Party’s independent Skills Task Force and on the Coalition government’s Public Services Service Transformation Challenge Panel.

I continue to hold a number of public and private sector non-executive directorships and am Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Buckinghamshire, where I have lived since 1986. In the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, I was appointed OBE for public service and services to education; in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, I was awarded a CBE for public and political services.

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​What I Do

Testimonials

"The Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (FCGI) was conferred on Ann for outstanding personal and professional achievement in vocational education and training."
Baroness Garden of Frognal Liberal Democrat peer Secretary City and Guilds of London Institute 1990-2008

News/Blog

FE in the spotlight
Ann Limb urges the media to put further and adult education in the spotlight and the funding of…

20/10/2020

A highly teachable moment? If not now, when? New skills for…
My overall message is clear - leaders across the spectrum of the political and educational…

27/06/2020

A ‘lesser well known mortal’s’ guide to Desert Island…
I suspect that many of us fantasize what eight pieces of music/sound we would take to our desert…

09/12/2019

Christmas Letter 24: 2019 – a year of resonance
​Dear God, Let us prepare for winter. The sun has turned away from us and the nest of summer hangs…

07/12/2019

Maggie & Ann’s Quaker Wedding 11 May 2019
‘Take heed, dear friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the…

06/12/2019

Transforming power of FE: the opportunity to make a…
​Equality Education and Equity are my passions and were the hallmarks of my career in further…

24/05/2019

VQ day on 4 June but double standards still prevail
Skills pass the television test but a dinner party divide remains. The official TV viewing figures…

02/06/2014

Building bridges: Orchestrating opportunities – the role…
The worlds of skills and economic development are moving closer together - and it helps to have…

11/04/2014