Mayor appoints new business advisory group

Phil Carlin and Andy Street

A new group has been established to advise the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, on the concerns of businesses in the region and how the important sector can support the West Midlands Combined Authority’s economic plans.

The Business Advisory Group is being headed by Phil Carlin, managing director of Birmingham-based property investor and developer, Seven Capital.

To date, Seven Capital has invested nearly £700m into 15 projects across Birmingham that are either complete, currently under construction or in planning. This represents more than 2.3 million square feet of development.

Established in 2007, Seven Capital has offices in London, Birmingham and Dubai with plans for further expansion.

In addition to Mr Carlin, who will serve as independent chair, the group will be comprised of representatives of invited organisations including the region’s three Chambers of Commerce (Greater Birmingham, Coventry & Warwickshire and the Black Country), the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr Street said: “In my manifesto I committed to giving business in the West Midlands a voice and a role in the work of the combined authority and this is exactly what the Business Advisory Group will do.

“I am particularly pleased Phil Carlin has agreed to come on board as the independent chair. Seven Capital have played a major role in the transformation of Birmingham city centre, most obviously, but right across the country and overseas.

“The company is undoubtedly one of our regional success stories and it is hard not to be impressed by the progress they have made in such a short space of time.”

He said he had been keen that the chair of the group was someone who had not previously been involved in such a role.

Mr Carlin said: “It is a great honour to be asked by the Mayor to take on this role. Business has a hugely important part to play in the continuing success of the WMCA.

“The only way the region’s economy is going to continue to grow is if the public and private sectors work together closely.

“The regeneration in our towns and cities has built on this approach and I hope to be able to play my part by making sure the Mayor hears loud and clear the concerns and issues of businesses of all sizes and all sectors.”