New faces from banking and construction join the board of GBSLEP
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has made two new appointments to reflect the emerging priorities of its work as the organisation approaches its first year in existence.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive of Miller Construction, joins as representative of the property and construction, while Patrick Hanlon, area manager for Handelsbanken, joins to represent the banking sector.
Both roles will be key as the LEP’s agenda continues to develop and progress.
Chris Webster, who is based in Solihull, joined Miller Construction as Chief Executive in June 2010 having previously been Chief Operating Officer of Amey. Miller Construction is a UK-wide multi-disciplinary construction business providing end-to- end property solutions through long-term relationships with clients across the public and private sectors.
Patrick is the Area Manager of Handelsbanken, one of Sweden’s leading banks with over 750 branches in 22 countries, including 29 in the Midlands. Before the current role of area manager, Patrick ran the Birmingham city centre branch for more than eight years.
The duo join the board of the LEP, which was set up to drive economic growth, achieve global leadership in key sectors and help create 100,000 jobs by 2020, as replacements for Brian Francis, Chairman and Managing Direct of Kestamp Tallent Automotive Ltd, and Rob Brown, Group Managing Director of Roger Bullivant Ltd.
Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “In the 12 months since the LEP was formed, it has become clear as to where much of our attention will be focused.
“Banking and construction are two areas where we are going to require significant insight and expertise.
“Patrick will be invaluable in supporting the work of the LEP in this area not only for his understanding of the banking sector, but also providing financial expertise to the LEP at a time when we are accessing increasingly large sums of funding will be invaluable.
“Furthermore, construction and infrastructure have become increasingly important as funds like Growing Places have come on-stream. This is why having somebody with the experience and expertise of Chris Webster will be vital.
“Chris has worked around the world on construction and infrastructure projects and has been involved in a number of schemes locally during his career which spans over 30 years and, crucially, he has experience and understanding of the housing sector.
“The Board will need somebody of his standing to help us to make the most of our involvement in development projects – not least the ambitious Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone scheme.
“I welcome both Chris and Patrick to the Board of the GBSLEP and look forward to working with them as we move increasingly into a phase of delivery.”
Chris Webster said: “Getting stalled property and construction projects in the LEP moving again has been an early priority and we are now at the stage where activity is beginning to take place.
“I am looking forward to playing a part in helping to drive the LEP’s vision and work around property and construction. The City Centre Enterprise Zone is a major opportunity for developers in the city and working together we can shape the future of the GBSLEP area.”
Patrick Hanlon said: “Everybody is well aware of the challenges facing businesses and banks in the current economic climate, challenges which will only be overcome if everybody works closely together.
“A great deal of work has already been undertaken by the LEP to bring businesses and banks to the table and to better understand one another’s points of view and I relish the opportunity to continue this work.”