A senior national broadcaster says Coventry and Warwickshire’s voice is starting to be heard in London.
Jon Snow, the Channel 4 broadcaster, spoke alongside the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Holland & Barrett’s chief finance officer Chris Keen at the Coventry and Warwickshire Champions Summer Meeting.
Snow was invited to speak at the event organised through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which attracted 200 senior civic and business leaders to the Ricoh Arena, in his role as chair of the Heart of England Forest, in South Warwickshire.
He said: “I am delighted to be here and I can tell you that Coventry and Warwickshire’s message is now starting to be heard in London and it’s thanks to groups such as Champions.
“It’s so pleasing to be here among such a diverse mix of people, it’s how it should be and it has happened organically.”
Snow told the audience at the new Ricoh Business Lounge about the origins of the Heart of England Forest, which is a charity committed to creating 30,000 acres of unbroken woodland consisting entirely of native broadleaf trees and aims to reverse centuries of woodland decline.
He said not only would it bring a positive environmental impact, it would also attract visitors to the region and, with them, jobs.
The recently elected West Midlands Mayor and former boss of John Lewis, Andy Street, was introduced to the stage by Coventry and Warwickshire LEP chair Jonathan Browning.
Street said the region’s economy was growing – thanks to organisations such as the LEP – but that there was still much work to be done.
He said the region was behind Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture and that the audience should be “proud of the confidence oozing from Coventry and Warwickshire.”
Opening speaker, Chris Keen, told the audience that a recent £1.8bn buy-out of Holland & Barrett was positive news for the growing business and was positive for Nuneaton, where its headquarters is based.
He also revealed that the company is set to expand its international coverage with new stores in Scandinavia.
Jacky Isaac, the HR director for Wasps Group, and Ricoh Marketing Director Chas Moloney, gave a brief overview of the business and the investment into the new lounge.
Pictured: Andy Street (front left) and Jon Snow (front right) are pictured with (left to right) Jonathan Browning (CWLEP), Les Ratcliffe (Coventry & Warwickshire Champions), Chris Keen (Holland & Barrett), Chas Moloney (Ricoh)