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Midlands Engine

'The UK's New Growth Capital'

Tuesday 18th September - The Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World, Birmingham

  • Listen & Learn from Public and Private Sector Leaders

  • Network with the key players & stakeholders involved in the West Midlands economy

  • Be informed; understand the scale and extent of the opportunities in the West Midlands

  • Understand the challenges of achieving the West Midlands Growth strategy

WHAT IS THE WEST MIDLANDS FORUM FOR GROWTH?

Building on the 2016 & 2017 Forums [see feedback] the theme for 2018 will be ‘The UK’s New Growth Capital’. This one-day event brings together Public and Private Sector leaders to engage and debate the key issues in growing the West Midlands economy.

The conference will be an exciting mix of keynotes, panel sessions, presentations and breakout sessions; designed to explore the growth opportunities, to showcase major game-changing projects, innovation and technology; featuring the next generation of talent and enterprise and focusing on housing and inward investment across the West Midlands.

This is a “once in a generation” time for the West Midlands - the epicentre for strong economic growth in the UK and is the fastest growing economy of a UK City region outside of London. With Coventry as the UK’s City of Culture in 2021 and Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022; the 3rd WMFFG is timely, and is a must-attend event for those interested in understanding the opportunities in the West Midlands region.

Our 2018 conference programme promises energy and interaction; with an audience of key players - large corporates to SMEs and public sector attendees.

“The UK’s New Growth Capital”

Building on the 2016 & 2017 Forums [see feedback] the theme for 2018 will be ‘The UK’s New Growth Capital’. The conference will explore the progress made by the WMCA in its first two years and the challenges of achieving its growth strategy.

With the recent big wins of the Commonwealth Games and the City of Culture we will consider how the Region can capitalise on these opportunities, creating a landscape for growth. How It will attract investment, develop cutting edge technologies, generate jobs, build world-class developments and shape urban environments to achieve places which are inclusive and attractive to live and work. We will also focus on the next generation and why education and skills development are fundamentals to driving success and will showcase major projects with an investment value of circa. £10bn.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has an economy worth circa. 85bn of GVA; and in one of the fastest growing economies in the UK outside London. Its plan is to unlock £8bn of investment packages and offers enormous potential as a growth platform for the UK economy and provides a massive opportunity to investors, developers and the construction industry.

Click for more information on conference content

  • Organisations and individuals involved in or interested in the developing West Midlands / Midlands economy
  • Private Sector: Investors, Funds, Banks, Development, Housebuilders, Housing Associations, Property Lawyers, Property Surveyors, Advisors, Consultants and Contractors
  • Public Sector: Government, Local Authorities, Constituent Authorities, Non Constituent Authorities, LEPs. Public Bodies and Associations

A one-day event that will deliver on multiple levels:

  • Be informed; understand the scale and extent of the opportunities in the West Midlands
  • Listen and learn; from Public (Central and Regional Government) and Private Sector Leaders
  • Gain valuable insights into the vision and ambitions of the West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Network with the key players and stakeholders in the West Midlands / Midlands economy
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Event Speakers

Tom Bloxham MBE

Chairman

Urban Splash Group Ltd

Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman and founder of award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash, which has received nearly 400 awards to date for architecture, design and business success. The company is responsible for development projects across the country, including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, Plymouth and Morecambe.

In 1999 Tom was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration.

Tom also upholds a number of other positions including; Chairman of Manchester International Festival, and trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation and The Bloxham Charitable Trust.

Deborah Cadman OBE

Chief Executive

West Midlands Combined Authority

Deborah became Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority in September 2017, following a long and distinguished career in public service.

After gaining a degree in politics, she began her career in 1984 with the London Borough of Newham, before moving to Birmingham City Council where she worked on major regeneration projects and gained a master’s degree in economics. Moving to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 1996 as Head of Policy, Deborah gained a second master’s in management, before taking up a two-year secondment with the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions as Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team. In 2003, after being appointed the Audit Commission’s Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region, she became Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, before becoming Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency. Deborah was Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council from 2011 to 2017 and has also been interim Chief Executive of Waveney District Council, Babergh District Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council.

She is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Trust and Joseph Rowntree Housing Foundation and as a dedicated and passionate female advocate at the forefront of the public sector, Deborah recently won the First Women Award for Public Service. Deborah is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’. Deborah was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government.

Andy Street CBE

Mayor

West Midlands

Andy Street was elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands on May 4 2017. The primary function of the role is to chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and brings with it significant powers over transport, housing, skills and jobs.

Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government.

He was the Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016, helping to build the relationships that have underpinned the economic growth of the region. Additionally, he has been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.

In June 2015, Andy was awarded the CBE for services to the national economy. He was named the ‘Most Admired Leader’ of the year by business magazine, Management Today in 2014. He received the ‘President’s award’ from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in for his work in the region.

David Jennings

Chairman

Movers & Shakers

Managing Director - Business Vantage Ltd
Chairman - Movers & Shakers Property Networking Forum

David started his career in Construction and Property. In 1990 he jointly founded and was a Joint Managing Director of the Salisbury Consulting Group; he sold his interest in 1995. In 1996 he formed Business Vantage, a business and research consultancy which specialises in property and construction and advises major UK plc’s.

David is the Founder Director and Chairman of Movers & Shakers formed in 1996 the UK’s most successful and popular networking forum.

He is also a Founder Director and shareholder of Stonemartin plc, an AIM listed serviced office business; founded in 1999.

David is Founder Director and shareholder of ResourceFull Ltd formerly Nice4Work Ltd.

Dr Colin Clinton

Regional Project Manager Regeneration and Infrastructure, Midlands Engine Investment Hub

Department for International Trade

Colin is DIT’s Midlands Engine Regional Manager for Regeneration and Infrastructure, part of the Midlands Engine Investment Hub team based in Birmingham. He joined UKTI part-time in Sept 2015 during which time he directed production of the ME’s first Investment Pitchbook, launched at MIPIM in March 2016. He helped create the 2017 ME Investment Portfolio with over £8BN’s worth of investment opportunity, and chairs the ME MIPIM steering group which helped deliver create a ME Pavilion at MIPIM Cannes for the first time in March 2017.

As DIT’s ME Regional Manager he is currently accessing many regeneration and infrastructure projects around the West Midlands that are seeking International Investment. Those that are currently investor ready to an increasing number developing within the Midlands Engine project pipeline of opportunities.

After 16 years in West Midlands public sector, Colin joined Arup in 1988 and appointed a Director in 2002. In 2004 he became the youngest President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and in January 2010 was appointed Arup’s Director of BD East Asia.
He delivered a new East Asia five-year BD Strategy for Arup before returning to UK in April 2015 as Director of Infrastructure in Arup’s Liverpool office.

Faraz Baber

Director

Terence O'Rourke

Faraz recently joined the specialist planning and design consultancy Terence O’Rourke as a Director. He was previously an Executive Director for Policy at London First. There he led on all activity relating to property, planning and development policy and was directly responsible for managing the real estate accounts and related commercial activity. Prior to joining London First in 2011, Faraz was Policy Director at London Councils where he managed a large multi-disciplinary team focused on housing, planning, transport, environment, culture and London 2012 implementation. His previous experience also includes senior management policy and public affairs roles at Surrey County Council, British Property Federation (BPF) and the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors (RICS). A highly experienced and multi-skilled professional with extensive knowledge within the property sector, Faraz has successfully delivered on a number of high profile policy led campaigns. He is a Bartlett School graduate, with dual qualifications: chartered surveyor (FRICS) and chartered town planner (MRTPI). He is a member of the Department of Communities and Local Government Planning Sounding Board which provides industry advice to Government. Faraz is a Board member of the RICS P&D Professional Group and also serves on the RICS Planning Policy Panel.

Leigh Natasha Salter

Managing Director

Movers & Shakers

Leigh Natasha Salter is Managing Director of Movers & Shakers, having formerly been the Business and Events Director. Leigh has been responsible for developing the brand over the last 12 years and was responsible for the launch of the Movers & Shakers UK Regional events programme. Previously she worked in marketing, communications and research, and also ran the Windsor & Maidenhead Borough’s Business to Community Partnership, facilitating CSR for businesses. She qualified at Oxford University with a BA Honours in Human Sciences, and a scholarship, and is also a member of the BPF, WPA and UK-GBC.

Martin Reeves

Chief Executive

Coventry City Council

Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He had previously been with Bedfordshire County Council for three and a half years as Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Executive.

Martin was previously Head of Performance Improvement at Westminster City Council. He was also Programme Director for WorkSmart the City Council’s flagship transformation programme. Martin spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher, and has a PhD in applied economics. He was the President of SOLACE in 2013 and now leads their Digital Leadership Network. He is also the Local Government Association (LGA) National Procurement Champion.

In 2015, Martin was invited onto the independent taskforce, which produced the new 5 year national cancer strategy. He co-chairs the national systems leadership board and chairs the national cross system board for sustainable health & social care (taking over from Jonathan Porritt).

He is also a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Advisory Board. In November 2015 Martin was included in the top 20 of the Local Government Chronicle’s list of the 100 most influential people in local government.

Sarah Middleton

Chief Executive

Black Country Consortium Ltd

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) since its incorporation in 2006. Sarah joined the Consortium Partnership in October 1999 and has been central in developing the Black Country Sub-Regional partnership and its 30 year vision including the Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, establishing joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. She has also supported the West Midlands Combined Authority on the development of the Combined Authority Strategic Economic Plan. Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for East Mercia Chamber of Commerce (including responsibilities as General Manager for Business Link Walsall) and Chief Executive of Walsall City Challenge.

Sir Edward Lister

Chairman

Homes England

Sir Edward Lister joined the Homes and Communities Agency as Chairman in June 2016. Sir Edward has considerable experience of the housebuilding industry, in particular infrastructure investment and large-scale developments. From 2011-16, he was London’s Deputy Mayor of Policy and Planning and Chief of Staff at the Greater London Authority, which included serving as Deputy Chairman of the Old Oak & Park Royal Mayoral Development Corporation. He was previously Conservative Leader of Wandsworth Borough Council from 1992-2011. As the longest-serving council leader in the country, Sir Edward made Wandsworth the most successful value-for-money local authority in the country with the lowest council tax charge and top satisfaction ratings from its residents.

In 2016, Sir Edward was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Regeneration and Investment Organisation within UKTI. He is also a consultant for CBRE’s One London team and a Non-Executive Director of Stanhope Ltd.

Denise Li

Vice Chairman & President

PGC Capital

Award-winning businesswoman, Denise Li, founded PGC Capital in 2015 after an illustrious career assisting companies achieve their international aspirations and expand into China including Formula One, the English Premier League, Porsche, Zespri, Nissan, Omnicom, Hilton Hotels Group and Amway. In 2014, Denise launched the International Financial Summit to introduce sophisticated global investment insights and opportunities to Chinese high net worths, corporations and institutional investors. The previous year, Denise introduced International GolfWeek to China, before going on to co-found Shanghai International GolfWeek (China) Limited to encourage entrepreneurs to raise funds for China’s most deprived children.

For three consecutive years, Denise received the Centurion Award from American Express, and when she was General Manager for Zespri, the leading kiwi fruit company, she was responsible for increasing annual turnover to 300m RMB with a team of only three.

Denise and PGC Capital have been frequently profiled in the UK property media, The Times (London) and the Financial Times. She is also a regular panellist at Financial Times Live events. PGC Capital’s first residential development in the UK is situated in the famous Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. Known as The Jewel Court, it was Highly Commended at the 2016/17 International Property Awards. At the end of 2017, she was appointed Executive Chairman of the Confederation of China Business UK.

Anne Brereton

Director of Managed Growth & Communities

Solihull MBC

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Laura Shoaf, MRTPI

Managing Director

Transport for West Midlands

Laura Shoaf is Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) – part of the West Midlands Combined Authority. She has more than 20 years’ international experience in delivering integrated economic and spatial regeneration.

Laura was Head of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the Black Country Consortium and was instrumental in the creation of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). As Black Country Director of Transport, Laura championed and led the area’s transport agenda, directly advising Chief Executives, Leaders and the LEP.

In 2015, Laura became Strategic Director for Transport at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority and then in June 2016 took up her current position where she is responsible for key initiatives across the metropolitan area such as Midlands Connect, the HS2 Connectivity Package and the region’s Strategic Transport Plan, liaising with Government departments and regional agencies for the benefit of the West Midlands. She is also responsible for delivering a £4billion transport package over the next 10 years underpinning economic regeneration in the region.

Mark Gregory

Chief Economist

EY

Voted top UK Voice on LinkedIn, Mark Gregory is UK Chief Economist at EY, providing knowledge, analysis and insight to help businesses understand the economic environments in which they operate. He is a business economist with almost 30 years’ experience in more than 40 countries as an advisor to the Governments and industry on economics, policy and regulation. This includes working with the Governments of Argentina and the World Bank to develop solutions to the debt and economic crisis in 1989 and 1990.

Mark is the sponsoring partner for EY’s Economics for Business Programme and EY ITEM Club, the UK’s leading independent economic forecasters, and EY’s renowned UK Attractiveness programme, the leading independent voice on Foreign Direct Investment. He works with both the private and public sectors, supporting economic development, growth and regeneration and is a key contributor to EY’s economic offering across the globe.

Prior to his role at EY, Mark was Global Head of Strategy & Business Development for Wireless at IBM and worked with clients to understand the implications of economic and market developments for their business models, cost structures and processes. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Economics.

Nicola Hewitt

Commercial Director

West Midlands Growth Company

Nicola leads the West Midlands Growth Company’s inward investment programme, as well the commercial division of the organisation, overseeing the services in place for supporting investors that are locating or expanding in the region. Nicola manages highly targeted campaigns that focus on the West Midlands’ sectors of strength and key overseas markets. Nicola was previously Director of Marketing and Communications consultancy View from the Hill, following on from international marketing roles at Hoople, Brintons and Codemasters.

Ian Mulcahey

Managing Director, London

Gensler

Passionate about solving complex urban problems, with particular expertise in the integration of infrastructure with urban growth and regeneration, Ian has been at the forefront of growing Gensler’s Firmwide Planning and Urban Design Practice. As Managing Director of the London office, Ian oversees projects across the UK and Europe, bringing a deep understanding of the various political, commercial and social drivers that influence planning delivery. Most recently, Ian has been at the forefront of the national debate on the future of aviation in the UK with the London Britannia Airport project. Ian is passionate about game changing design and has led two award-winning concept projects for London. In 2011, the Thames River Park was awarded the ‘Best Conceptual Project’ and the ‘Mayors Award for Planning Excellence’ at the London Planning Awards, and again in 2015, the London Underline won the ‘Best Conceptual Project’. A regular speaker and panelist, both in the UK and internationally, Ian is often called upon to help define the future direction of urban growth and transformation. He studied at the University of Westminster, earning a diploma in Urban Planning Implementation and BA (Hons) in Urban Planning Studies.

Simon Marks

Partner

Arcadis

Simon has been involved in shaping cities throughout his entire career. As Arcadis’ City Executive for Birmingham, he is responsible for improving quality of life across the wider West Midlands, particularly focusing on growth and investment to ensure the regions continued evolution.

With 30 years’ industry experience, he helps clients make the best of their built and natural assets in relation to achieving their vision, strategy and key priorities. He has delivered a range of projects across the public, private and infrastructure sectors and has a deep understanding of the housing and regeneration arena. Simon is also the Main Board Director of the GBSLEP Optimising Assets Group and Chair of the Enterprise Zone Executive Board.

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