September 29th 2021
Wolverhampton - The Next Visitor Destination
West Midlands Growth Company
Neil oversees the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), formerly Marketing Birmingham, which was established in April 2017 to create new jobs, expand existing businesses and attract new investment and visitors to the region, aligned to the ambitions set out in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Strategic Economic Plan.
Under Neil’s leadership of Marketing Birmingham, the city secured the highest number of foreign direct investment projects on record, attracting significant new investments from companies such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Jaguar Land Rover and ASOS. The city’s visitor economy has also grown significantly in recent years, with Birmingham enjoying the largest growth in international visitors of any UK city outside London and the tourism sector now contributing £6.5 billion to the local economy, a 22% increase (£1.16bn) since 2013.
Previously, Neil held similar roles in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. He is a member of the British Tourism Industry Group; Chair of the Midlands Trade and Investment Group and is a former Governor and Board Member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Neil is also a Board member of Creative England
Erica, Director of Culture Central has worked in the cultural sector for over 15 years, becoming Director of Culture Central in November 2019. Since Covid, Erica has been leading on the West Midlands Culture Response Unit. This has been a programme of work that has focussed on the Visibility, Viability and Recovery of the Culture Sector. This is a cross partnership initiative, including regional and local government, the sector, funders and other strategic partners. She is a passionate advocate for the impact and value of arts and culture on the people and places of the West Midlands and the valuable role it plays in economic growth, regeneration and placemaking.
Culture Central: A collective voice for arts and cultural in the West Midlands.
Cllr Ian Brookfield
City of Wolverhampton Council
Ian is the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Wolverhampton Labour Group.
As Leader Ian is also the Chair of the Cabinet, the decision-making body at the council. His priorities focus on attracting businesses to the city which will provide good, well paid jobs and investing in support for children and young people, so they get the best possible start in life.
Before becoming Leader in May 2019, Ian served as Mayor, Chair of the West Midlands Pension Fund and Chair of the City Council finance committee.
He sits on the Board of the West Midlands Combined Authority where he is the portfolio holder for economy and innovation. As part of this regional role he is also the lead for the emerging Screen Industry Body which aims to transform the current screen industry, helping to drive investment, growth and create thousands of new jobs.
Before becoming a full-time politician, Ian worked as a qualified nurse in the North West and the West Midlands and more recently worked at the Royal Mail in Wolverhampton.
Chief Operating Officer
Colin is a qualified accountant and has had a varied career within the entertainment sector. Starting out with CBS Records / Sony Music providing business analysis to the front line record labels, holding the role of Finance Director at what was then the largest UK distributor of physical entertainment product in the UK before transitioning to the Live music industry in 2005. Colin is the COO of AEG Presents in Europe, the second largest global promoter which owns and manages venues across the globe, festivals such as Coachella and British Summertime in Hyde Park and promotes tours from developing acts through the superstars such as the Rolling Stones and Justin Bieber. The last 15 years in the UK has seen the AEG start up establish a major UK promoting business, 2 London metropolitan festivals attracting >500k customers, expanding offices into Europe markets and the acquisition and refurbishment of Hammersmith Apollo, and multiple partnership arrangement, and within the next 12 months will happily add opened up the Wolves Civic to that list!
Grand Theatre Wolverhampton
Vicky has worked in the Arts and Culture sector for over 15 years. Since 2016 she has held the position of Associate Director of Development and Communications at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, leading on Marketing, Sales, Corporate Sponsorship, Events, Fundraising, Access, and Creative Learning.
The theatre attracts over 300,000 visitors into Wolverhampton every year as a number one touring venue and producing house. Vicky along with a dedicated team are committed
to the delivering the theatre’s Audience Development Strategy. Over the last three years there has been a twenty percent increase in South Asian Audiences; collaboration with every secondary school in Wolverhampton and an award-winning Dementia Programme has been launched and continues to grow.
October 07th 2021
‘Delivering Net-Zero Carbon Buildings - a new skillset for the future’
The Challenge of understanding the skills gap
Head of Smart Cities
Scottish Power Smart Solutions
Euan Norris is ScottishPower Smart Solution’s Head of Smart Cities, who has a clear objective and passion to implement the energy services and solutions that enables Cities, Local Government and Communities, across the UK, deliver ‘Net Zero’ and a better future, quicker. An experienced energy professional, Euan Joined ScottishPower in 1997 and has since held several positions across the Energy Retail and Network’s businesses covering Energy Strategy & Planning, Regulatory and Commercial policy development, Innovation and deployment of Real-Time Systems that support the accelerated uptake in renewable generation technologies. In 2015 successfully led the team that delivered the award winning Accelerating Renewable Connections (ARC) NIC project, implementing innovative technical and commercial solutions that facilitated circa. £300m of capital investment to connect renewable generation to the grid achieving connection an average of 3-years ahead of traditional connection timescales.
Away from work, Euan coaches the next generation of football referees across Scotland following a successful career as a Category 1 match referee, officiating in the Scottish Premier League regularly as well as representing his country undertaking appointments at International level, culminating in his appointment as a match official at the 2012 European Championship held in Poland and Ukraine.
Director of Environment
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Managing Director of Real Estate Finance, Large Corporate
Charlie heads up the Large Corporate Commercial Real Estate team at Natwest, a team of relationship bankers that serves the largest operators in the Real Estate sector in the UK with all of their banking needs from borrowing to clearing services, as well as supporting access to debt capital markets. The customer base spans the listed REITs, large private Estates and private equity sponsors.
Charlie also has responsibility for leading the bank’s Sustainability agenda for the Real Estate sector, with the primary goal of supporting customers on the journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Prior to joining Natwest in 2017, Charlie held roles with Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and HBOS, starting in a general corporate relationship team in 2001. In 2006, Charlie moved to a dedicated real estate team and has specialised in this sector since that time.
Relationship banking perfectly complements her degree course, having graduated from Reading University with a BSc in Mathematics and Psychology in 2001.
Charlie is a Trustee of a small start-up charity, The Kids Network, that provides mentoring services to primary school children across London, a role which she has held for three years and very much enjoys. Charlie is also a keen runner and cyclist, with the Berlin marathon under her belt and three bicycles in her collection to date.
Head of Sustainable Finance
Rishi Madlani has worked for NatWest Group for over 15 years across the London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt offices. Rishi is Head of Sustainable Finance and Just Transition for the Group which encompasses the bank’s activities supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy and increasing funding to areas with a wider social purpose. Over the last 2 years the bank provided 9.9bn of funding to support activity in the climate sector and the bank has now set a £20bn funding and financing target to support climate and sustainable finance.
Rishi also serves on the boards of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance Association and RenewableUK.
UK Director of Energy & Sustainability
Chairperson: Rishi Madlani, Head of Sustainable Finance, NatWest Group
November 02nd 2021
The expanding role of the arts, music & culture, in place-shaping
local neighbourhoods to global cities - London
Non-members rate is £85.00 + VAT
November 04th 2021
Building Homes & Communities for Everyone - South West
Non-members rate is £67.50 + VAT
November 17th 2021
Building Homes & Communities for Everyone - North West
Non-members rate is £67.50 + VAT
November 24th 2021
Building Homes & Communities for Everyone - West Midlands
Non-members rate is £67.50 + VAT