West Midlands Growth Company appoints 2 new chairs following successful year

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) – which is responsible for attracting more visitors, investment, businesses and events to the region – has announced two appointments from the private sector to boost its promotional activity.

Fiona Allan, artistic director and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, has become chair for the Regional Board for Tourism. Dr Jason Wouhra OBE, director of East End Foods, will be chair for a new West Midlands India Partnership.

The appointments were announced at the WMGC’s Annual Review, which took place at IET Birmingham on 21st November with more than 130 senior stakeholders from across the region.

Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “The West Midlands’ future success depends on the private and public sector continuing to work closely together. With major events such as Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 and 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on the horizon, joining forces with the industry will enable us to maximise the economic opportunities these milestones will bring.

“Committees such as the West Midlands India Partnership and the Regional Board for Tourism will provide our partners with new opportunities to shape how our region is showcased both in the UK and internationally. Using the considerable insight and enthusiasm of both Fiona and Jason demonstrates how we can collectively sustain a unified push for the region.”

Fiona Allan

A chair of the Regional Board for Tourism, Fiona Allan will be overseeing the region’s delivery of its £1 billion Tourism Strategy, which launched in September. Fiona has more than 20 years’ experience within the tourism sector and leads various creative organisations including UK Theatre, UK Dance Consortium and the 2018 Creative Industries Federation UK Council.

She commented: “The West Midlands’ vibrant culture, heritage and culinary scene sets it apart from other destinations in the UK. We will build on this unique identity to deliver the 9% increase on economic value and 19,000 new jobs laid out in the Regional Tourism Strategy.

“Working together more closely as a region will enable the local tourism sector to jointly bid for more events and investment – and have a united voice when selling the region as a world-class destination to experience.”

Dr Jason Wouhra

Dr Jason Wouhra commented: “More than ever, it is vital that the West Midlands creates strong relationships with growing numbers of businesses and stakeholders that are based overseas. The West Midlands India Partnership will help to bring investment, visitors, and jobs to the region from one of our most important markets.

“Capitalising on the region’s sector strengths, and events such as Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will enable us to raise awareness of the West Midlands and its success stories in India.”

The West Midlands Growth Company was formed in 2017 and works closely with the public and private sectors to market the region, attract visitors and help domestic and overseas firms to invest or relocate here.

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