11 March 2016
Sandwell Council, the award-winning local authority, has launched a major new initiative designed to drive inward investment into the area and help existing businesses grow.
The Sandwell Business Ambassadors Programme brings together leading business figures from a range of diverse sectors in the borough including manufacturing, construction, professional services and food processing.
Over the next year, the group will focus on supporting the council to promote Sandwell’s strengths as a business destination and help shape the future vision for growing the local economy. The ambassadors will also participate in a range of activities to help existing SMEs achieve their growth potential. By sharing their expert advice, guidance and knowledge at a series of masterclasses, businesses will gain valuable insight from the ambassadors to help unlock greater opportunities to improve performance.
The ambassadors’ companies are synonymous with the area. The chair of the group is Paul Cadman, group managing director at Futura and vice-chair is Kate Manners, managing director at David Manners Group. The group comprises: [businesses listed alphabetically]
· Melvin Wingfield, director, A&M EDM Ltd
· Tony Bryan, business development manager, Briggs Amasco
· Mark Evans, partner, Crowe Clark Whitehill
· Kate Manners, managing director, David Manners Group
· Paul Deep, sales director, East End Foods
· Paul Cadman, group managing director, Futura
· John Wood, group corporate services director, Liberty Industries Group
· Graham Pennington, Principal and Chief Executive , Sandwell College
· Geoff Walker, chief executive, Sandwell Community Caring Trust
· Tracy Pearce, chief executive, SIPS Education
· Richard Allen, general manager, voestalpine Metsec
· Adrian Wright, sales and marketing director, West Bromwich Albion FC
Think Sandwell, the local authority's business growth team, will oversee the programme and work closely with the ambassadors throughout the year. Think Sandwell has helped start-ups, SMEs and major companies secure finance to support their business growth ambitions.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Councillor Darren Cooper, leader of Sandwell Council, said: “This new initiative is a great opportunity for us to work closely with key businesses in the borough to enhance Sandwell’s reputation as a place to do business. I am delighted that we have assembled senior business figures from a range of disciplines and sectors and look forward to working closely with them.
“Through working alongside our partners in the West Midlands Combined Authority, significant progress has already been made to grow and strengthen the Black Country economy. As part of this new programme, the ambassadors will help ensure that Sandwell and the Black Country thrive as a diverse and sustainable economy with productive and innovative companies and a highly skilled workforce.”
The chair of the Sandwell Business Ambassadors programme, Paul Cadman, group managing director at Futura said: “Sandwell is growing in confidence and increasingly becoming dynamic and diverse. Along with the other ambassadors in the group, I am enthusiastically committed to this area.”
“It’s a real honour to chair this group of people who are all committed to working together, with the council and its partners to fulfil our ambitions for the area and the wider region.”