Neil McDonald


Published 19 January 2022 at 10:26am

Here at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority we are celebrating with our LEP Board Member, Neil MacDonald who has received an OBE. Neil was honoured as Pro Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University, for services to Education and Business (South Yorkshire).

Neil was originally informed that he had been selected to receive this prestigious accolade back in June 2020.  The Queen’s birthday honours list was delayed in 2020 because of the pandemic and the announcement wasn’t made public until October that year. Investitures were also considerably delayed, which meant Neil received his OBE in December 2021.

By profession, Neil is a Chartered Accountant, and after 10 years at accountancy firm KPMG, he spent his professional career as Chief Financial Officer at the international aerospace engineering group Firth Rixson. 

Although he officially retired from a full-time professional career 15 years ago, Neil has kept himself busy by taking on trustee and non-executive roles in the public, private and charity sectors. 

Neil is probably best known in South Yorkshire for his role as Master Cutler, a prestigious office he held in 2012/2013. He has also spent more than 10 years as a Non-Executive Director in the NHS, and has recently stepped down as a governor and pro chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University after eight years. He remains a trustee at United Learning, the largest multi academy trust in the country, and chairs the Local Governing Body at Sheffield Springs, one of the United Learning schools. He is also chair of St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and of Sheffield Museums Trust.  All this as well as being an LEP Board Member for four years!

Neil MacDonald said:  “I was very surprised when I was informed about receiving an OBE.  I was on a Zoom meeting at the time, in the middle of the first Pandemic, when I received an email – I just couldn’t believe it!  It’s a great honour and I find it very humbling to be recognised for doing what I do. However, I don’t think it will change how I approach my various roles. Sheffield and South Yorkshire has been very good to me and I passionately believe in giving back. It’s lovely to be recognised for this.”

Neil was presented with his OBE by HRH Princess Anne at Windsor Castle.  He said the Princess was very well informed about the work he had done and he felt honoured to be among around 60 recipients of an OBE.  Neil had the chance to chat to a number of other honours recipients while he was there, who he said were a very normal group of people with an extraordinary commitment to many different roles in society.

Neil added: “It was certainly a special day at Windsor Castle – an unforgettable experience…”


Last Updated: 28/01/2022

Published In: LEP, Featured