The West Midlands Forum For Growth has been organised by Movers & Shakers; in partnership with WMGC, WMCA and DIT and is the official launch 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 growing the West Midlands economy.
Find out more about our event speakers by clicking any of the images below:
TV Presenter and HAB Founder & Brand Ambassador
Kevin McCloud a property journalist, designer and television presenter.
In 2007 Kevin founded HAB which stands for ‘Happiness Architecture and Beauty’ with the purpose to challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK.
The houses and places built by HAB are to respect the local context, biodiversity, landscape and the community. Kevin’s mission for HAB is to make homes that lift the spirits, that are a pleasure to live in, and are a joy to behold.
In 2014 Kevin was appointed an MBE in the new year honours for services to sustainable design and energy saving property refurbishment.
Founding Director & CEO
Mark has nearly 30 years of experience in the construction and real estate sectors and has become a recognised commentator and thought leader on a variety of issues. He has been at the forefront of emerging UK residential market segments such as Build to Rent and Later Living. He is also playing a leading role in the progressive modernisation of the construction industry. Mark is a member of the RICS, Vice Chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council, a member of the BPF Build to Rent sub-committee and co-chairman of Constructing Excellence. Mark authored the October 2016 UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’.
Dr Julie Nugent
Director of Productivity & Skills
West Midlands Combined Authority
Dr Julie Nugent has extensive experience in the productivity and skills sector having held a range of senior roles across government and the further education sector. She has particular expertise in financing further education and has led on developing new funding systems for the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning and Skills Council. Julie has worked in the Black Country and in Birmingham which has provided her with a keen understanding of the importance of skills in improving economic competitiveness and people’s life chances.
Most recently Julie led on the West Midlands negotiations with Government securing the first Skills Deal in the country with additional investment of £100 million to develop the regions skills.
Regional Senior 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.
Deborah Cadman OBE
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
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.
West Midlands Growth Company
Neil oversees the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), formerly Marketing Birmingham, which was established in April 2017 to create new jobs, expand existing businesses and attract new investment and visitors to the region, aligned to the ambitions set out in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Strategic Economic Plan.
Under Neil’s leadership of Marketing Birmingham, the city secured the highest number of foreign direct investment projects on record, attracting significant new investments from companies such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Jaguar Land Rover and ASOS. The city’s visitor economy has also grown significantly in recent years, with Birmingham enjoying the largest growth in international visitors of any UK city outside London and the tourism sector now contributing £6.5 billion to the local economy, a 22% increase (£1.16bn) since 2013.
Previously, Neil held similar 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. Neil is also a Board member of Creative England
Dr Colin Clinton
Consultant Investment Advisor
West Midlands Growth Company
Leigh Natasha Salter
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.
Corporate Director for Economy
Birmingham City Council
As Corporate Director Economy, Birmingham City Council, Waheed has worked for the authority in various roles for 20 years.
Waheed provides strategic leadership and direction across a wide portfolio, including the Council’s property portfolio, planning, regeneration, housing development, transportation and connectivity, highways and infrastructure, skills and employment, business development and inward investment.
Waheed led the major transformation of the city centre through the Big City Plan, bringing forward key projects including Birmingham Smithfield, Snowhill, Paradise and New Street redevelopment. He oversees £2.5bn public sector investment through the Enterprise Zone and HS2 Curzon masterplan.
Alongside leading Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, one of the city’s largest housebuilders, Waheed led the Council to set up a series of commercial vehicles including InReach, the Council’s vehicle for building new homes across the city, and the development of an investment vehicle for commercial property to help deliver growth.
Waheed is a non-executive Director of Birmingham Airport Holdings Limited.
Waheed is a columnist for Estates Gazette, and a visiting Professor at Birmingham City University, he mentors a number of graduates demonstrating commitment to support the development of future professionals in the field.
Waheed was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Aston University in July 2017.
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.