The built environment – a driver for growth in the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham

20 May, 2016 | 08:00 - 10:00

Sir John Armitt will be on a tour of the region.
Sir John Armitt will be on a tour of the region.

About this event

Sir John will visit our region on 19th and 20th May as part of his presidential tour of ICE regions.

Join him at this breakfast event, hosted by HS2 Ltd, at their new Birmingham offices is a chance for ICE West Midlands members to meet Sir John and hear from a panel of speakers involved in making major decisions on the built environment across the region.

We will debate how the collaborative approach to planning the built environment can contribute the region's economic stability and future growth.

In his presidential year Sir John leads a coalition of business, academic, environment and industry experts who will produce a national needs assessment to feed into the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). Read his exclusive interview with Infrastructure Intelligence.

Panel of speakers:

  • Dr Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, Coventry City Council and Chief Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Maria Machancoses, Midlands Connect Programme Director
  • Mike Carr, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University and former Director GBSLEP


Dr Martin Reeves

Dr Martin Reeves

Chief Executive, Coventry City Council and
Chief Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority.

Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He had previously been with Bedfordshire County Council for three and a half years as Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Executive.

Martin was previously Head of Performance Improvement at Westminster City Council in the heart of London. He was also Programme Director for WorkSmart the City Council's flagship transformation programme.

Martin spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher, and has a PhD in applied economics. He is a Governor on the Board at Coventry University and is the first Honorary President of LARIA (Local Authorities Research and Intelligence Association).

He was the President of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) in 2013 and now leads their Digital Leadership Network. He is also the Local Government Association (LGA) National Procurement Champion.

In 2015, Martin was invited onto the independent taskforce, which produced the new 5 year national cancer strategy. He co-chairs the national systems leadership board and chairs the national cross system board for sustainable health & social care (taking over from Jonathan Porritt). He is also a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Advisory Board.

In November 2015 Martin was included in the top 20 of the Local Government Chronicle's list of the 100 most influential people in local government.

Maria Machancoses

Midlands Connect Programme Director

Maria Machancoses

With a degree in Law and an MSc in International Transport, Maria has spent the last 14 years working in the UK for the transport industry.

Maria is currently the Programme Director for Midlands Connect, a £5m collaboration that together with central government, brings together 28 Local Authorities and 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Midlands, to develop the vision and strategy for transport connectivity throughout the region.

The strategy, to be developed jointly by the Midlands Connect Partnership and the DfT by March 2017, will identify the major infrastructure projects which are needed to improve linkages to the region's key hubs, therefore increasing economic activity and helping to power the Midlands Engine.

As part of her previous role, Maria managed the WM ITA's input into the HS2 Hybrid Bill and was actively involved in master-planning activities around proposed HS2 Stations in the West Midlands, with particular input into the wider connectivity measures of the emerging GBSLEP HS2 Growth Strategy.

She is also a member of European Metropolitan Transport Association, and is working closely with Government bodies and the European Commission on key aspects of the European Transport White Paper such the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and the Connecting Europe Facility.

Mike Carr

Mike Carr

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University and former Director GBSLEP

Mike Carr is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor of Employer and Economic Engagement at Nottingham Trent University. As PVC of Employer and Economic Engagement, Mike is responsible for: Business and Economic Development, Development & Alumni Relations and Student Employability and Enterprise.

Mike graduated from Brunel University with a first class degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering. During his early career, he held a variety of commercial roles including Managing Director of Parema and Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands. He was subsequently appointed Executive Director for Business Services at the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA). He led the strategy development for EMDA's business, innovation and skills agendas and delivered the associated investment portfolios, working closely with the region's universities.

Prior to joining NTU, Mike was Director of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), where he oversaw the delivery of their strategic economic plan for the city region. Before that Mike was Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at the University of Nottingham, with responsibility for developing partnerships with business, delivering their knowledge exchange strategy and leading their research commercialisation activities.