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Coventry and Warwickshire to lead the way in ensuring economic growth boosts local communities, conference hears

14 November 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Coventry and Warwickshire to lead the way in ensuring economic growth boosts local communities, conference hears
Clive Myrie (front, centre) with panellists and speakers at the Chamber conference

Coventry and Warwickshire can lead the way in ensuring economic growth benefits all communities across the region, a major conference has heard.

More than 250 businesspeople and decision-makers attended Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business & Economic Conference at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The conference theme of ‘Doing Business with Purpose’ shone through the event, from the opening address from Chamber chief executive Corin Crane through to a powerful keynote speech from multi-award winning broadcaster Clive Myrie.

Key issues affecting businesses will be discussed at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Annual Business & Economic Conference

Myrie praised Coventry and Warwickshire for its long-running leadership when it comes to diversity – from Lady Godiva through to 2Tone music – before talking about his own background and career.

Earlier the conference heard from Chamber president Tom Mongan before a video address from West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

Monica Fogarty, chief executive of Warwickshire County Council, and Julie Nugent, chief executive of Coventry City Council, sat down for a conversation with Corin, and described how the region is stronger when it works together.

They described how that partnership will be even more crucial in the coming months and years in order to grow the economy and offer more opportunities to all communities in the city and the county.

The conference was delivered in partnership with PET-Xi Training and Prime Accountants Group. PLMR Advent was the media partner and Eskuta and Make Venues (Woodland Grange) were supporting sponsors.

A panel session on the current economic climate was chaired by Margot James and heard from Steve Harcourt (Prime Accountants Group), Katie Trout (West Midlands Growth Company), Anna Bright (Sustainability West Midlands), Roger Scott (Lloyds Banking Group), and Carol Thomas (Coventry College) who talked about the challenges faced by businesses but how the region’s economy can be driven forward in areas such as digitisation and sustainable innovation.

Fleur Sexton DL (PET-Xi) chaired a Future Fit Workforce panel with contributions from Annette Hay (Belgrade Theatre/DMU), Kevin Davis (The Vine Trust), Dr Isabella Moore (Olderpreneur Alliance) and Daveena Saranna (Electric Zoo).

On top of all that, there were a series of Chamber partners exhibiting at the event, including Aston University – Centre for Growth, West Midlands Trains, Destination Coventry, Transformation Space, WCG and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training.

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Corin said: “It was an incredible conference and I believe everyone left the room with plenty to think about. The speakers were great and our panel sessions were really thought provoking. It was all topped off by the amazing Clive Myrie, who gave some amazing insights into his life and his career, which was the perfect way to bring together many of the topics we’d discussed during the day.

“Doing Business With Purpose was our theme for the day and it’s something that is very close to my heart and, from what we heard, I believe Coventry and Warwickshire can really lead the way on ensuring business and economic growth benefits every community across our great city and county.

“That’s something that is vitally important to us as a Chamber and we will remain at the heart of that conversation, working with all of the partners who were with us at the conference.”

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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