An organisation which speaks on behalf of almost 200,000 British businesses has merged its Midlands operations.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has combined CBI East Midlands and CBI West Midlands as part of a strategic review of the body’s internal structure.
The new united CBI Midlands will now operate as a single entity, supported by existing regional councils from east and west.
It will be headed by Rick Blackmore who steps up from his role heading the CBI East Midlands team.
The merger means the Midlands is now home to one of the CBI’s biggest regional teams who will campaign to improve infrastructure, boost productivity, address skills gaps and attract inward investment to the region.
Deborah Fraser, CBI director for regions, said: “I am delighted to announce that Rick Blackmore has been appointed as the new regional director of Midlands for the CBI. This is a newly created post to strengthen the voice of the Midlands – both east and west – following the CBI’s recent strategy review.
“Capitalising on the opportunities before us in the decade ahead demands a more ambitious, joined up strategy than what’s gone before. Anything less risks missing the significance of the changes taking place in our economy and our society.
“By bringing the collective voice of the East and West Midlands together, we will be establishing the largest CBI regional team outside of London and the South East. And through this change, I believe we’ll be better placed to build on the strong foundations we’ve built in recent years.”
Rick Blackmore, CBI Midlands Director, said: “The Midlands is home to a number of England’s most significant cities, and boasts remarkable strength in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, financial services and life sciences.
“I am delighted to represent CBI members across this region at what is a crucial time for our economy. Decisions we make now will not only dictate the shape of our post-pandemic recovery, but define our economic destiny for the years to come.
“I look forward to working with businesses and stakeholders to help build a prosperous, sustainable and equitable future for communities across the Midlands region.”
As part of the merger, Richard Butler – CBI regional director for the West Midlands – will be leaving the CBI after 10 years.