Karl Hick (, the chief executive of local housebuilder and developer Larkfleet Group (, has been accepted onto the exclusive Leadership Programme ( run by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The organisation describes the programme as “an opportunity for senior business leaders to develop the skills to influence their external environment including government and the wider political landscape.”

Over the next few months Karl will take part in meetings with civil servants and legislators in Whitehall and Westminster, meet European Union officials and MEPs in Brussels, visit the US Senate in Washington, attend the CBI President’s Dinner and CBI conference and network with senior business leaders.

Competition for places on the programme is fierce and Karl had to impress a judging panel which included Sir Mike Rake (chairman of BT and deputy chairman of Barclays), former government minister Baroness Virginia Bottomley, Linda Urquhart OBE (chairman of Morton Fraser), Paul Drechsler (chairman and CEO of Wates Group) and Suzanne Baxter (group finance director of Mitie Group).

Karl said: “Government at all levels – local, national and international – has a great influence on business in many different ways. It has particular impacts on Larkfleet Group because of our involvement in development activity such as housebuilding and our considerable involvement in renewable power and energy-reduction projects.

“It will therefore be extremely useful to learn more about how decisions are made in the corridors of power and how businesses can influence those decisions to deliver continuing economic and employment growth.”