Katie Trout, outgoing Chief Executive of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) will join WMGC as Director of Policy & Partnerships in April. With responsibilities including oversight of the organisation’s growth strategy and key stakeholder relationships, Trout brings with her a wealth of experience in supporting inclusive economic growth. Under her leadership, the GBSLEP has injected £1.8bn worth of investment into the regional economy across a diverse portfolio of capital and revenue projects.

Supporting WMGC’s critical mission of developing worldwide awareness of the region is the appointment of Helen Lyman Smith, who joins WMGC in April as Director of Marketing and Communications. Lyman Smith’s extensive marcomms experience spans 20 years, with her most recent role as part of the National Trust’s marketing and communication’s senior leadership team. The new role will include leadership across all aspects of the organisation’s branding, marketing, communications and digital expertise.

These appointments mark the midway point of WMGC’s delivery of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) – an initiative designed to maximise the Games to build lasting economic legacy in the West Midlands. The new appointments will support WMGC’s plans to realise a post-Games legacy across the BATP’s 36 work packages, spanning themes across tourism, investment and profile & reputation. 

Matt Hammond, Chairman of the West Midlands Growth Company, commented on the new appointments:

“We have a great opportunity to harness the expertise of Katie and Helen to strengthen the strategy and delivery of WMGC’s post-Games plans. The team at WMGC have been focussed for the last 18 months on the business, capital and visitor attraction benefits that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games can bring to the West Midlands, and we are poised to capitalise on that for the whole region.”

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, added:

“Katie and Helen’s distinguished expertise will support our renewed focus on customer centricity, helping to position WMGC as a trusted partner and advisor amongst our longstanding company members and partners. Their experience additionally ensures we are steadfast in our engagement with important, new international markets throughout the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which presents an important opportunity to raise the West Midlands’ standing on the global stage”

The West Midlands Growth Company is aligned to the ambitions set out in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Strategic Economic Plan. The company has been established in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities, universities and a wide range of businesses across the private sector. It focuses its core activities across Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Black Country.

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