Robert Napier has been named chairman of EP from 1 January

Robert Napier will be the new chairman of national regeneration agency English Partnerships, housing minister Yvette Cooper announced today.

Napier, a former chief executive of construction materials group Redland, will chair the body from 1 January until the launch of the new Homes and Communities Agency in 2009.

The new agency will absorb the functions of English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation and some of the remit of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Napier, who replaces Margaret Ford, is chairman of the board of the Met office and non-executive director of Anglian Water Services.

His previous posts include chief executive of WWF-UK, chairman of the CBI Transport Policy Committee and president of the National Council of Building Material Producers as well as a 16-year stint at Redland.

Cooper said: “I am very pleased that Robert has agreed to accept this very challenging role at English Partnerships during this important transition period in the lead up to the launch of the Homes and Communities Agency.

“He has great wealth of skills and experience, making him the right person to lead EP during this time of considerable change.”

Napier added: “English Partnerships has much to deliver between now and the establishment of the Homes and Communities Agency. I look forward, as the new Chairman, to working with the English Partnerships Board, chief executive and the management to achieve our targets.”