INFLUENTIAL Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Leahy is stepping down from the role after many years of being the spokesperson for the town's businesses.

Mr Leahy will remain on the board, and has been thanked by the chairman Denys Rayner for his hard work over the years developing the Chamber.

Mr Rayner said: "It was through Steve's drive, ambition and vision that the Chamber has become the voice of business within Bridgwater and the broader Sedgemoor area.

"As the initial chairman and subsequently CEO of the Chamber, Steve invested significant personal time and energy in developing the role of the Chamber within the community.

"He has worked tirelessly to engage with both the business community and the relevant authorities to promote the interests of Bridgwater business."

Mr Leahy helped set up the successful and prestigious Sedgemoor Business Awards, as well as the Supply The Supplier project linked to Hinkley Point which enabled many local companies to bid for work at the new site.

Mr Rayner continued: "I would personally like to thank Steve for his passion for the Chamber, and his persistence in continuing with his vision during difficult times.

"He now hands the organisation on with record levels of membership to the next era in its’ history."

Roger Smith has been appointed as the new general manager of the Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce.