Organised by
Movers and Shakers logo
Official Partners
West Midlands Combined Authority logo
UK Trade & investment logo
Midlands Engine
In association with
Bilfinger logo

West Midlands Route Map for Growth

ONE-DAY CONFERENCE - Wednesday 6th September 2017 - Venue: The Vox Conference Centre, Resorts World, Birmingham B40 1PU

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

  • Listen & Learn from Public (Central and Regional Government) and Private Sector Leaders

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


The West Midlands Forum For Growth is organised by Movers & Shakers; in partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Midlands Engine and Department for International Trade (DIT), in association with GVA and is the official conference of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

This is an authoritative one-day event, bringing together Public (Central and Regional Government) and Private Sector leaders to engage and debate the key issues in driving the West Midlands economy forward.

Building on the highly rated and well supported inaugural WMFFG event [see feedback] in 2016, the theme for 2017 will be ‘Route Map for Growth’ and will explore the WMCA’s progress over its first year, its strategy for growth and how this fits into the Government’s ‘Industrial Strategy’.

Conference content will cover; growth sectors; infrastructure & connectivity, inward investment, regeneration & placemaking. In addition, there will be opportunities to find out what the LEP’s are planning with plenty of interaction and debate throughout the day.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has an economy worth £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.

“Route Map for Growth

The West Midlands Combined Authority has an economy worth £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.

Building on the highly rated and well supported inaugural WMFFG event [see feedback] in 2016, the theme for 2017 will be ‘Route Map for Growth’ and will explore the WMCA’s progress over its first year, its strategy for growth and how this fits into the Government’s ‘Industrial Strategy’.

Conference content will cover; the region’s key growth sectors; the HS2 corridor; inward investment and meeting the housing challenge setting out the opportunities across the region. In addition, there will be opportunities to find out what the LEP’s are planning with plenty of interaction and debate throughout the day.

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

Event Speakers

Waheed Nazir

Corporate Director - Economy

Birmingham City Council

Waheed is Corporate Director for Economy at Birmingham City Council, and has worked for the local authority in various roles including Director of Planning & Regeneration, Director of Regeneration, Assistant Director for Development Planning, as well as CEO of SRB6.

Waheed is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction across a wide portfolio, including the city council property portfolio, planning, regeneration, housing development, transportation and connectivity, highways and infrastructure, skills and employment, and business development and inward investment.

Waheed has over 20 years experience in developing and implementing successful innovations in the field of growth, development and regeneration and exploiting new opportunities to secure funding from private and public resources.

Waheed has been involved in a number of national government panels and reviews of emerging policy, and is a regular columnist for Estates Gazette.

Waheed is also a Visiting Professor of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City University, a role which allows him to share his knowledge and experience of the Built Environment agenda with future professionals in the field.

Paul Thandi

Chief Executive

NEC Group

Since becoming CEO in October 2006, Paul has rebuilt the company’s brands and reputation, created a new senior management team and transformed the Group into a customer-centric and data-led organisation which has included the launch and evolution of The Ticket Factory, now a challenger brand to Ticketmaster.

Paul has also led the business through a change of ownership when in May 2015, LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, acquired the NEC Group from Birmingham City Council for £307 million.

Under Paul’s stewardship the Group has agreed major commercial partnerships with internationally renowned organisations such as Genting, Barclaycard and Virgin.

Genting UK is the Group’s partner on the £150m leisure and entertainment complex Resorts World Birmingham – a project Paul has been driving for almost a decade and the first piece of his ambitious leisure and entertainment strategy. It is also the sponsor of the adjacent Arena.

Paul is Chair of Birmingham and Solihull Employment and Skills Board, he sits on the board of the newly formed West Midlands Growth Company and he provides business mentorship to two CEO’s in London and Birmingham operating in the digital and media markets.

He is also Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands Lieutenancy, joining a distinguished group in the region whose duty it is to represent the Queen under the leadership of Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands.

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 10 years and has recently launched 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 and UK-GBC.

Dr Colin Clinton

Regional Project Manager Regeneration and Infrastructure, Midlands Engine Investment Hub

Department for International Trade

Colin joined Arup during 1988, having previously worked in the public sector on major Inner Cityinfrastructure projects and Urban Regeneration schemes for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands County Council and the City of Birmingham for a sustained period from 1971 to 1988.

In 2002 as a Chartered Civil Engineer, Colin was appointed a Director of Arup, and in 2004 became the youngest President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In January 2010 he was appointed Director of Business Development East Asia Region (EAR), reporting to Arup’s East Asia Regional Board. The role, based in Hong Kong included responsibility for creating, developing and leading a newly formed group focussed on identifying investors and projects, securing new relationships and business opportunities across China and East Asia.

From June 2011, and in addition to his BD role, he was Project Director for the Rose Rock International Finance Centre (RRIFC) in Tianjin, Northern China. One of the largest Civil Engineering projects in mainland China at 3.2 Billion US$. The 1M sqm development incorporated a 588m landmark tower. Having identified, negotiated and secured this major commission for Arup, Dr Clinton initiated and led the project team of over 100 staff.

Throughout 2013 and 2014 Dr Clinton developed relationships with some of China’s largest engineering firms, including China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG). The focus with these firms included outward investment into the UK, Europe and the West, development of international engineering standards and the mobility of professionally qualified engineers. Towards the end of 2014 he created an East Asia region-wide 2015 BD Strategy, in alignment with Arup’s new China Plan 2020, and the Arup Group Strategy launched in October 2014.

In April 2015 he returned from China to the UK and, at his own request, was based in Arup’s Liverpool Office. In Sept 2015 Colin accepted an invitation by UK Gov’t for a part time secondment role as Head of China Business in UKTI Regeneration and Investment Organisation (RIO). He accompanied the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to China for the Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. He supported the leaders of Cities in the Northern and in late Oct 2015 Colin led a programme of business investor meetings as part of the China State Visit by President Xi to UK.

From January 2016 and in his 3 day a week secondment role to UKTI RIO Colin has been based in Birmingham supporting the inward investment strategy for Birmingham, WMCA and the Midlands Engine. He directed the production of the ME investment Pitchbook and help launch it at MIPIM in Mar 2016.
He is a member of the ME promotions group and is chairing a sterring group for the creation of a ME Pavillion at MIPIM in 2017.

David Jennings


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.

Martin Reeves

Chief Executive

West Midlands Combined Authority

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.

Sir Edward Lister


Homes and Communities Agency

He has considerable experience of the housing sector. For the last 5 years he has been London’s Deputy Mayor for policy and planning and chief of staff at the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Tony Pidgley CBE


The Berkeley Group plc

He left school at 15 to form his own company in haulage and plant hire. At 19, he sold his business to Crest Homes and became a Building Director, before leaving to form Berkeley Homes in 1975. The company enjoyed rapid growth, floated on the Unlisted Securities Market in 1984, and then gained a full listing in 1985 as the Berkeley Group plc.

Tony has gained a national reputation for his pioneering approach to building homes and creating successful places. His judgement of the markets, willingness to put his personal capital at risk, and his drive and commercial flair have made Berkeley one of Britain’s best residential developers. In 2011, Berkeley was ranked Britain’s Most Admired Company across all sectors and is the only housebuilder to win the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development twice.

Tony is now part of Lord Heseltine’s Thames Estuary Growth Commission. His expertise has been used to advise the recent Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, the Mayor on the Outer London Commission and the Government on the disposal of public sector land. He is also a trustee of Open City London, a charity that champions architecture education, and President of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2016, he was nominated New Londoner of the Year in recognition of his contribution to housebuilding across the capital.

Jane Kemp

Partner and consultant

Adducere LLP

Until co-founding niche property consultancy Adducere LLP in 2009, Jane was a solicitor and has over 20 years experience in the Property Market. Her career experience has been both client side, as an in-house solicitor with national property companies, and she has also occupied senior positions with law firms – Eversheds, Hammonds and Clarke Willmott. Jane continues to work with DLA Piper as a consultant. Jane’s focus has been typically on funding of property projects. Jane is married, lives in Worcestershire and enjoys country life.

Laura Shoaf, MRTPI

Managing Director

Transport for the 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.

After leaving her native USA, Laura became 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.

Laura is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a committee member of both UITP and EMTA, highly-respected international and European organisations dedicated to promoting public transport and the dissemination of best practice.

Sarah Middleton

Chief Executive

Black Country Consortium Ltd

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) and has been 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, its 30 year vision, Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, including joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. 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.

Sarah-Jane Marsh

Chief Executive Officer

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Sarah-Jane joined the NHS via the Graduate Management Scheme, holding various roles in primary and secondary care and at the Department of Health, before promotion to Director of Planning and Productivity at Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust.

Appointed Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in December 2007, and Chief Executive Officer in March 2009, the Trust has been under her leadership for almost eight years and was named ‘Provider Trust of the Year’ by the Health Service Journal in 2015, and rated Outstanding by the CQC in February 2017.

In 2015, Sarah-Jane took on the additional role of Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, before going on to integrate the two Trusts to create the first Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Europe, just 18 months later. She also led the development of an innovative new mental health partnership for 0-25 year olds in the city – Forward Thinking Birmingham, the first of its type in the NHS.

Sarah-Jane is also Chair of the NHS England Maternity Transformation Programme Board, which aims to make maternity care across England safer, and give women greater control and choice. Her passions are exceeding the expectations of patients and families, and making Birmingham Women’s and Children’s the very best place to work and be cared for.

Keith Ireland

Managing Director

City of Wolverhampton Council

Keith has a wealth of experience in local government and specialises in transformation of local government services to achieve high performing businesses using private sector business models.

Having worked in London Boroughs, Metropolitan Cities, County Unitaries and Districts Keith is well versed in the spectrum of local government.

Since December 2014 Keith has also been the Programme Director for the delivery of the West Midlands Combined Authority and Devolution Deal. He oversees the delivery and strategy for the programme which involves 7 Metropolitan Councils, 3 LEP’s and 15 District Councils as part of a 3 LEP area Combined Authority.

Keith is the Clerk (Principal Advisor) to the West Midlands Combined Authority Shadow Board and is also Clerk (Principal Advisor) to the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) for which he is the sponsoring Managing Director.

As part of his commitment to developing Education in the City of Wolverhampton, Keith is a Director of a Multi Academy Trust, a Trustee of an Academy Trust, Chairs two primary Interim Executive Boards to prepare for their future and chairs a further primary school governing body.

The City of Wolverhampton is a rapidly improving Council and Keith is very much driving the officer team to deliver high performing services, customer excellence and national recognition of how to transform a council whilst meeting stringent financial reductions.

Ian Mulcahey

Managing Director, London


Passionate about solving complex urban problems and with a particular expertise in the integration of infrastructure with urban growth and regeneration, Ian has been at the forefront of growing Gensler’s Firmwide Planning & Urban Design Practice. As Managing Director of our London office, Ian oversees projects across the UK, Europe and the Middle East, 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. A regular speaker and panelist both in the UK and at global property conferences, 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.

Tony Bray

Area Director, WM Cities & Local Government Unit


Tony Bray is Area Director for Cities and Local Growth Unit (joint BEIS and DCLG team) in the West Midlands, with direct responsibility for helping to drive devolution working with a wide range of partners to unlock economic growth. Previously Tony worked in the Regional Development Agency network for South West RDA and East of England RDA, involved in a range of regeneration and economic development schemes and has been a board member of a number of URCs and other regeneration companies. Tony has also worked for a number of different local authorities on economic development and, prior to that, in the private sector.

Ian Stringer

Regional Senior Director

GVA Midlands

Ian is Regional Senior Director of GVA in the Midlands, overseeing 17 out of the firm’s 24 business units represented out of the Midlands office and a total staff compliment of 385 people. He is a past chairman of the firm’s Advisory Board, currently a member of the firm’s Executive Board and a West Midlands CBI Regional Councillor.

Ian has 30 years’ experience in the office sector in the Midlands, dealing with leasing, disposals and acquisitions but specialising in office led mixed-use development consultancy and place making. Ian is part of a team involved in such schemes as Brindleyplace, Paradise, Arena Central, Eastside Locks, Longbridge, Fort Dunlop and Friargate in Coventry, often from inception to delivery.

Clients include Argent LLP, Hermes Investment Management, Birmingham City Council, Friargate Coventry LLP, Arena Central Developments LLP, RBS and KPMG.

Neil Rami

Chief Executive

Marketing Birmingham

Neil oversees Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership, which aims to create new jobs by attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) into Birmingham and growing its tourism markets.

Under Neil’s leadership, Birmingham’s visitor economy has grown significantly in recent years with the sector now contributing over £5 billion per year to the local economy. The city is also enjoying its highest levels of FDI on record, attracting significant new investments from companies such as Advanced, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Jaguar Land Rover, Lombard Risk and ASOS.

Previously, Neil held similar senior roles in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. He is a member of the British Tourism Industry Group, Chair of the Midlands Trade and Investment Group and is a former Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Huw Rhys Lewis

Managing Director

Urban Growth Company

Huw Lewis has over 25 years’ experience in the private and public sector - in the UK and internationally - covering a range of sectors including retail, offices, leisure, transportation, waste education, housing and infrastructure. Previous roles include Director of Property Projects at the City of London Corporation, Director at Shanks plc and Director at Balfour Beatty, overseeing major capital projects at Heathrow T5 and T2.

Richard Cowell

Assistant Director Development

Birmingham City Council

Richard joined Birmingham City Council’s Planning and Regeneration Department in 2008. He currently heads up a number of multi–disciplinary teams leading on a range of development, planning and regeneration initiatives, with a primary focus on the city centre.

One of his first projects with the department was the production of the City’s strategic city centre masterplan, the Big City Plan, which was launched in September 2010. The Big City Plan is one of the most ambitious and far-reaching city development projects in the UK and is seeing billions of pounds of investment in both infrastructure and major new development schemes.

Following the launch of the Big City Plan Richard led the work to secure the city centre Enterprise Zone and the publication of the first Enterprise Zone Investment Plan (2012). This investment is enabling an extension of the Midland Metro Tram network, public realm improvements and key development schemes to proceed.

As the City continues to experience a major economic renaissance the focus for Richard remains the implementation of the strategic vision of the Big City Plan and key initiatives to drive growth across Birmingham. This includes Birmingham Smithfield, which will see the redevelopment of a 14ha site in the heart of the city centre; and the Curzon HS2 Growth Strategy, which has secured an extension of the Enterprise Zone and over £700 million of infrastructure investment targeted at maximising growth around the city centre High Speed 2 (HS2) terminus station.

Richard Kenny

Interim Director of Partnerships (Universities)

West Midlands Combined Authority

Richard has overseen strategy and delivery at regional and local levels for two major cities – Manchester and Birmingham, a new directly elected mayor and combined authority in the West Midlands, a regional assembly in Yorkshire and the Humber, and health and policing working nationally in London. Richard is an experienced policy and economic development strategist, working on major strategic development, business change and strategic partnerships. He has worked for two major research universities, Warwick and Birmingham and was central to the establishment of both the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (WISC) and a City Region Economic Development Institute, University of Birmingham (CityREDI). Richard is a member of the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE); the Regional Studies Association; is a senior fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.

Richard works closely with the Centre for Geographical Economic Research, University of Cambridge and is currently a member of its Advisory Panel for Structural Transformation, Adaptability and City Evolutions having previously sat on the Steering Group for Recession, Resilience and Recovery. Richard has a chapter on ‘Modelling Public Outcomes’ in A Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy (2015), published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Chris Urwin

Head of Global Research Real Estate

Aviva Investors

Chris leads the research team, overseeing the production of property forecasts and preparation of key strategy and research reports. His team plays a key role in developing investment views of markets and sectors and identifying strategic opportunities for funds across the globe.

Prior to joining Aviva Investors, Chris worked for CBRE where he was a senior analyst responsible for analysis of market trends in commercial property markets. Before that, he worked as an economist for the Institute of Public Policy Research where he was responsible for economic input for the centre’s research into city centre residential markets, commercial property in deprived areas, city governance and urban competitiveness. He has also worked as an assistant economist with HM Customs and Excise, focusing on the impact of changes to the indirect tax regime.

Chris holds a BA (Econ) in Economics and an MA in Economic History from the University of Manchester. He is also a member of the Society of Property Researchers.

Jonathan Hillcox

Senior Director and Head of Investment

GVA Midlands

Jonathan is a Senior Director and head of Investment for the Midlands, based in Birmingham, where he has advised on deals including the £127 million sale of The Mailbox and the £130 million sale of 7, 8 & 10 Brindleyplace.

Having experience with a leading international property consultancy in London, Brussels and Paris, Jonathan has advised on the sale and acquisition of retail, industrial, office and business park properties, together with sale and leaseback and complex portfolio transactions and development funding, across the UK and in mainland Europe.

Clients include leading UK and overseas institutions and property companies, private equity funds and private investors.

Mark Bourgeois

Managing Director UK and Ireland


Mark began his career at KPMG; he then qualified as a Chartered Surveyor with Donaldsons, where he became partner in charge of the London Shopping Centre Management team. Mark moved to Capital & Regional in 1998 where as Executive Director, he led the management and development of their substantial shopping portfolio. He joined Hammerson in 2017 as Managing Director of UK & Ireland, responsible for the company’s £6.5bn shopping centre and retail parks business.

Chris Perkins

Head of Business Space

M&G Real Estate

Chris manages the Business Space Team and is responsible for the UK Investment Management Community. During the past 10 years, his focus has been primarily offices and industrials with considerable volumes of buying and selling through several economic cycles. Prior to this he has held various roles across fund, investment and asset management teams at M&G Real Estate, including 10 years as a Fund Manager. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a committee member of the Investment Property Forum (IPF). Chris is also a member of M&G Real Estate’s Property Investment Committee and of the Credit Committee for M&G Fixed Income Real Estate Debt Team.

Liz Peace CBE


Old Oak Common

Liz is a well-known figure in the property industry, having served as Chief Executive of the British Property Federation for 13 years until her retirement in 2014. During that time, she managed to change the Government’s perception of the commercial property industry, to win innumerable changes to planning and tax legislation and, working as part of a pan-industry alliance, to persuade the Government to introduce real estate investment trusts (REITs). She was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to the property industry.

Previously, Liz was a civil servant in the MOD, eventually becoming a key player in the team that created QinetiQ plc.

Liz is now pursuing a portfolio career with a range of non-executive, advisory and charity roles, at Redrow plc, Howard de Walden Estates, Holtby Turner, and the Churches Conservation Trust. She is the Chairman of LandAid, the property industry’s principal charity, of the Architectural Heritage Fund and of the Centre for London and President of the Property Litigation Association. She is a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board and is also chairing the Shadow Government Property Agency that is being set up to asset-manage departmental property portfolios. In 2017 Liz was appointed Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC).

Andy Street


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.
Starting on the John Lewis graduate scheme, Andy rose through the ranks to become Managing Director, overseeing one of the most successful periods in the company’s history.

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.

Outside of work, Andy is passionate about the arts, particularly in the West Midlands, having previously served as Vice Chairman of Performances Birmingham Limited, which is responsible for running the City’s Symphony and Town Halls.

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. He holds three honorary degrees, from Birmingham City University, Aston University and the University of Birmingham.

Mike Crone

Purchasing & Property Director - International Projects

Jaguar Land Rover

Mike leads all Purchasing activities related to JLR’s Global Business Expansion program. He has teams based in the UK, China, India, Brazil and Slovakia. He runs the newly formed Trading Division responsible for the export of components to overseas manufacturing plants and the Non Production Purchasing team that procure all indirect categories for the business. Mike also has operational responsibility for Jaguar Land Rover’s global Property function.

Mike joined the Coventry & Warwickshire LEP in January 2017 as a Non-Executive Director.

As well as an extensive Purchasing career, Mike has previously managed in the fields of Property, Operations and Service Management. He started his career at Rover Group, worked with BMW in Munich before joining Deloitte Consulting concentrating upon Procurement and Supply Chain projects across multiple clients and industries. He has also worked for eight years in Global Telecoms.

Victoria Smith

Joint Managing Director

Opus Land

Victoria is a Chartered Surveyor at Opus Land involved in development and asset management. Prior to joining Opus, Victoria was in London for 10 years. She spent 7 years at King Sturge (now Jones Lang La Salle) in Investment and Property Recovery and subsequently over 3 years at Palmer Capital in commercial investment and fund management.

Professor John Latham


Coventry University & Innovate UK

John leads delivery of the University’s strategic objectives, as agreed by the Board of Governors. John is a double graduate of the University and has a background in information technology and telecommunications. He has held high-profile roles at regional, national and European levels promoting innovation, technology and economic development. He previously worked for private sector organisations including JHP Group, Jaguar Cars and BT. He chairs the University Alliance mission group and is a board member of Innovate UK and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. John is a committee member of HEFCE, and an advisory board member of the National Growth Board, the Design Council and Universities UK. He is Extraordinary Professor in the area of enterprise and entrepreneurship at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


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