Lucy Prior MBE appointed Chair of RIA’s SME Group

21 September 2021

Lucy Prior MBE, Business Engagement Director at 3Squared, has been appointed Chair of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) SME Group. The role will see Lucy lead one of the industry’s main forums for SMEs, representing them on behalf of RIA, both within the membership and to the wider industry.

Lucy takes on the role having previously been Vice Chair of the Group and following the former Chair John Chappell stepping down due to work commitments. As part of the role, Lucy will sit on the RIA Board, ensuring the views of SMEs across the rail industry are fed into RIA’s work.

Lucy Prior, Chair of the RIA SME Group and Business Engagement Director at 3Squared, said: “I am really looking forward to stepping up to the plate as Chair of the SME Group. It has been brilliant working alongside John, from whom I have learned so much and he really does leave the group in a strong position. I absolutely intend to continue the work he and I have started. I'm looking forward to finding out who is voted in as Vice Chair, now I vacate the role, to work alongside me, Kate Jennings and Isabella Lawson from RIA’s Policy Team, to push the SME agenda for the benefit of the supply chain overall.”

Kate Jennings, Policy Director and SME Lead at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said:
“We’re delighted to have Lucy onboard as our new SME Group Chair. Lucy has long been an advocate for small businesses across the rail sector, promoting their work in innovation, skills and diversity and exports, to name just a few areas. We know she’ll bring her signature enthusiasm and passion to the role, as she has been similarly doing in her role as Vice Chair.

“We’d also like to thank outgoing chair John Chappell who has done a brilliant job in leading the Group over the past year and a half. John has been a fantastic representative for SMEs, working hard to raise their profile across the industry, to Government, stakeholders and larger businesses. He leaves the Group well-placed to navigate the future opportunities and challenges of the rail sector over the coming years.”

John Chappell, outgoing Chair of the RIA SME Group, said:
“It was a privilege to serve as Chair over the last 18 months and I’d like to express my gratitude to SME Group Members for your enthusiasm and encouragement. I hope that I’ve made a little difference during my tenure and helped lay the groundwork for even greater success for the Group and for SME Members in the future. I am very grateful to the RIA team, especially Kate Jennings and Isabella Lawson, and also to Lucy Prior for her fantastic support. I feel certain that the Group will go from strength to strength under Lucy’s leadership. Look forward to bumping into many of you again soon.”

Notes to Editors


  1. RIA's SME Group works to drive forward the SME agenda, supporting rail supply chain growth, productivity and innovation. The Group is open to all RIA's SME Members. If you would like to find out more about the Group, please email 
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

Talk to us

Railway Industry Association

Kings Buildings
16 Smith Square
United Kingdom

© Railway Industry Association Great Britain 2022    


RIA is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales Reg. No. 10036044