Bruntwood SciTech, the joint venture of Bruntwood and Legal & General, has appointed Deb Hetherington to Head of Innovation in Leeds.

Hetherington’s appointment is hoped to help drive the growth and expansion of the city’s digital and tech sector which includes data science, cybersecurity, FinTech and LegalTech firms.

Hetherington joins from Leeds Beckett University where she served as business innovation manager. She is a member of the city region’s LEP innovation panel, a board member of the Leeds Digital Festival and the co-founder of community-led initiative Women in Leeds Digital.

She will work closely with businesses based at Leeds-based Platform, which offers a tech accelerator and office space currently housing coding school Northcoders, diabetes management platform DigiBete, and legaltech company rradar.

Bruntwood said the new hire will work in partnership with the city’s public, private, academic and clinical institutions to help create high value jobs for the sector and drive the economic growth of the city.

Craig Burrow, director at Bruntwood Leeds, said: “Deb’s experience, connections and reputation in the city are second to none and the role she’s already played in supporting the growth of start-ups and scale-ups in the city’s digital and tech sector speaks volumes. She’s going to be instrumental in both the growth and success of the tech community in Leeds.”

Hetherington added: “Opportunities to play a key role in a city’s economic growth don’t come along every day, let alone at such a critical time for the city and the sector. Collaboration between businesses and partners is vital if Leeds is going to flourish as a leading UK hub for the digital and tech community.

“I’m really looking forward to working with all the great companies based at Platform many of whom are at the forefront of disrupting their industry and supporting them to achieve their business goals and ambitions.”