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Industry leaders will play key role in Black Country Business Festival

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

A batch of high-profile industry leaders have been recruited to add weight to the upcoming Black Country Business Festival.

Around 120 events are scheduled to take place across the Black Country Business Festival

The 10 will play a key role leading their particular sector of industry as the festival gets under way next month with around 120 events taking place across the Black Country.

Developed by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and running from April 23 to May 4, the festival is planned as a major showcase of industry and commerce in the region.

The programme of events is made up of trade shows, seminars, workshops and conferences of all descriptions – put on by local companies to help other local organisations and individuals to grow and develop.

The organisers say that to raise the profile of the festival more widely, the programme of events has been divided into nine key sectors that are important to the economic growth of the area or that have significant growth potential.

Each sector is led by a business professional who is well-known in their industry and extremely knowledgeable in their area of expertise.

Sector leads are confirmed as:

Advanced Manufacturing – consultant Paul Nicol

Automotive – Trevor Leeks of Jaguar Land Rover

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Creative Industries – Kelly Jeffs, CEO Light House

Education – Jatinder Sharma, principal & chief Executive, Walsall College

Hospitality & Tourism – Andrew Lovett, CEO, Black Country Living Museum

Professional Services, Business Support & Communications - Ian Bond, director & head of trusts & estates at Talbots Law and Shaun Carvill, managing director at Clickingmad

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Property and Construction – Stephen Tracey, construction manager at Wates

Retail – Dan Murphy, regional centre director at intu Merry Hill.

Transport & Logistics – Stuart Everton, Black Country Director of Transport, City of Wolverhampton Council

Events are set to take place in every sector. In retail, Intu Merry Hill is showcasing exclusive artists' impressions and plans of the centre’s forthcoming £100 million development to further improve the centre.

Retail sector lead, Dan Murphy said: “The Black Country has thriving businesses, innovative attractions and most importantly inspiring communities all proud of being from the Black Country.

"The introduction of the Black Country Business Festival has created a platform for the area to showcase all of this not only nationally but internationally making it truly an exciting time to be part of the region.”

Digital agency, Clickingmad is running two events to help businesses to learn tips and tricks that will make their website out from the crowd and turn it into a great sales tool. Managing director Shaun Carvill, a joint sector lead for professional services, business support & communications, said: "The Black Country is one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of the UK to do business.

"The Business Festival will help put the Black Country back where it belongs; at the top of the list when it comes to business investment, opportunities and job creation and also to acknowledge where the industrial revolution had its first great expansion.”

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber, said: “We decided to divide the Festival into sectors to make it easier for people to browse through the events that are relevant to them. It will also allow us to extend our national reach and promote the Black County’s innovation, culture and commerce on much broader scale.

“There is no better time stand together and tell the rest of the world about our amazing, vibrant and diverse business community - because ‘this is the Black Country’!

In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, the Black Country Business Festival is partnered by DY5 – Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone and is supported by a number of organisations including Cox & Plant, the Federation of Small Businesses, Ramada Park Hall Hotel, the University of Wolverhampton, Talbots Law, Wolverhampton Racecourse and Casino 36. The Business Festival media partners are the Express & Star, Midlands in Business, Signal 107 and Elonex.

For more information, visit the website at www.blackcountrybusinessfestival.com, email hello@blackcountrybusinessfestival.com or call 01902 912304.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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