CBI to merge East and West Midlands operations

Rick Blackmore

The CBI has merged its East and West Midlands operations into a single body.

The new united CBI Midlands – supported by existing regional councils from east and west – will be headed by Rick Blackmore, who steps up from his role heading the CBI East Midlands team.

Deborah Fraser, CBI director – regions, said: “I am delighted to announce that Rick Blackmore has been appointed as the new regional director, Midlands for the CBI. This is a newly-created post to strengthen the voice of the Midlands – both east and west – following the CBI’s recent strategy review.

“As outlined in the launch of the CBI’s recent Seize the Moment campaign, capitalising on the opportunities before us in the decade ahead demands a more ambitious, joined up strategy than what’s gone before. Anything less risks missing the significance of the changes taking place in our economy and our society.

“By bringing the collective voice of the east and west Midlands together, we will be establishing the largest CBI regional team outside of London and the South East. And through this change, I believe we’ll be better placed to build on the strong foundations we’ve built in recent years.

“Following these changes, I’m sorry to announce Richard Butler, CBI Regional Director, West Midlands, will be leaving the CBI to explore new opportunities. Richard has been a tremendous colleague for the CBI in his 10 years with us and we wish him all the very best for the future.”

The immediate focus for Blackmore and the team will be to champion the importance of the Midlands in driving economic transformation, translating broad government strategies into concrete plans for good jobs, better wages, and greater innovation.

Blackmore said: “The Midlands is home to a number of England’s most significant cities, and boasts remarkable strength in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, financial services and life sciences.

“I am delighted to represent CBI members across this region at what is a crucial time for our economy. Decisions we make now will not only dictate the shape of our post-pandemic recovery, but define our economic destiny for the years to come.

“I look forward to working with businesses and stakeholders to help build a prosperous, sustainable and equitable future for communities across the Midlands region.”