Tala hired for OxLEP partner and media engagement brief


OxLEP is furthering its vision to position Oxfordshire as a vibrant, world-leading economy with the appointment of dedicated communications and stakeholder engagement professionals.

Following a comprehensive tender and pitch process, Banbury-based agency Tala has been hired to provide strategic communications counsel and share its stakeholder engagement methodology and experience.

The agency, led by managing director Andrew Baud, has experience across industry sectors, including science and technology, healthcare, logistics, aggregates and visitor attractions.

Tala has a particular specialism in public affairs, issues management and crisis communications.

Directing Tala will be Rob Panting, who joins OxLEP in the role of communications executive – reporting to Rob Granger, head of corporate services.

He will lead and deliver OxLEP’s communications strategy – raising the profile of OxLEP across different audiences and enhancing the organisation’s reputation and credibility with local businesses, academia and government departments.

Rob was most-recently Group Marketing Business Partner at Oxford-based Activate Learning and prior to that, held senior communications roles within a number of adult social care companies and disability organisations.

Nigel Tipple – chief executive of OxLEP – said: “OxLEP has made good progress since its launch and we are already over halfway to our target of supporting the generation of 85,600 new jobs in the county by 2031.

“Despite this early success, we seek to establish Oxfordshire as a world-leading economy in its own right and are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge we have set ourselves.

“To help achieve our vision, we’ve hired-in highly experienced communications and stakeholder engagement professionals, who will hit the ground running.

“Rob has good local contacts and understands fully the mutually beneficial relationship between business, academia and the public sector in Oxfordshire. He will be supported by Tala – an agency with impressive credentials across many sectors and from whom we will seek expert guidance and advice.”