26 May, 2021
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Andy Street, the newly re-elected mayor of the West Midlands is set to give an exclusive interview at the forthcoming Invest Midlands online conference on Wednesday May 26.
Street will speak with TheBusinessDesk.com’s Midlands editor Sam Metcalf at an exclusive session at the landmark conference. The live interview will begin at 3.40pm – click here to book your tickets for the day.
This event, which will take place on Wednesday 26 May, follows on from the hugely successful Invest North event in March, which brought together around 500 regional, national and international decision-makers to discuss the region’s economy and future.
Now, we’d like to invite you to find out what the Midlands has to offer to your business and extend the chance for you to secure your tickets for an event which will shine a light on what’s really happening in the region.
You’ll have the chance to listen to keynote speeches from Business Secretary Rt Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, who will outline the ambition for the Midlands and look towards its post-pandemic future as a real engine of growth.
He will be joined by leaders from across the region, including Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace.
EY’s Midlands market leader Simon O’Neill will lead a session exploring some of the disruptive trends that are shaping our region, alongside ideas and opportunities that will boost productivity, fuel the recovery and unlock growth across the Midlands. Simon will be joined by specialists across EY’s network including Silvia Rindone, Chris Romans and David Borland to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Midlands businesses presented by shifting consumer trends, the changing entrepreneurial landscape and the transition to electric vehicles.
Robert Franks, managing director of West Midlands 5G and Jane Woods, group nations and regions director at BT, will discuss the digital roadmap of the Midlands.
Shehzad Chaudhary, deputy director – trade and investment Midlands at DIT, Stephen Pratt, director of Godwin Developments, Dafydd Williams, head of policy, communications & economic development (Humber) at Associated British Ports and Pat Doody, chair of Greater Lincolnshire LEP will join a session looking at the two Midlands Freeports as a gateway to growth.
Also, Ian Reid, the chief executive of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and Gurmit Klur of the University of Birmingham will speak on how the event will showcase the city and region to the wider world.
Kathrin Enenkel, senior analyst for Centre for Cities, Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and PPS to the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, and Phil Stewardson, director at Stewardson Developments, will join a panel session looking at placemaking with a purpose: the future of towns and cities.
Ken Cooper, managing director at the British Business Bank, will lead a panel discussing how to fund SME growth through post-pandemic recovery.
Meanwhile, Claire James, MD of East Midlands Airport, Dave Penney of Network Rail and Maria Machanchoses of Midlands Connect will debate whether the Midlands Engine is joined up – or two separate islands, in a much-needed debate on transport in the region.
Serial tech entrepreneur Rob Wilmot, one of the co-founders of Freeserve, development manager at the FSB Natalie Gasson-McKinley and Paul Faulkner, the chief of staff and operations within the group of businesses owned by the Richardson family join a panel chaired by Shakespeare Martineau CEO Sarah Walker-Smith on a session called Diversity in action: Pointing a rainbow of talent towards a bright business future for the Midlands.
Reshma Sheikh of Octavian UK, Sarah King of We Are Radikl, Anita Bhalla OBE of the West Midlands Leadership Commission and Tru Powell of Aston Performing Arts Academy will take a look at the importance of diversity and how businesses should place it at the heart of growth.
The vastly-important automotive sector will be debated by John Russell of Norton Motorycles, Charlotte Horobin of MAKE UK, Derby entrepreneur Graham Mulholland and Chris Reeves of Horiba Mira.
The Big Ideas to Change the Midlands session will see Matheu Parr of Rolls-Royce, Liz Draper head of corporate partnerships at Coventry City of Culture Trust, Christopher Ware of Conygar and Ricky Sandhu of Urban-Air Port outline their vision for the future of the region.
The full agenda – which can be viewed here – puts the spotlight on the issues that will transform the economy in the years ahead and represents the very best of the Midlands.