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Past Events

The West Midlands Green New Deal: Leading the Race to Net Zero and Resource Efficiency by 2050.

In October we heard from Cllr Lisa Trickett, Co-Chair, SERA, Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham, on some of the ground-breaking research in the region on hydrogen and decarbonising heat together with Cabinet members, Cllr Majid Mahmood, Birmingham City Council, and Cllr Jim O' Boyle, Coventry City Council, on how the West Midlands is leading the race to Net Zero, the challenges ahead, the difference we're making today - and what we need from the next Government.”

At the core of our short and long term challenge is soaring gas prices and cost-of-living crisis unfolding in its wake, which has brought the topic of heating to the forefront of the media and public mind this year. However, unlike electricity decarbonisation, it is a programme that needs to be delivered at a local rather than national level which requires consumers to change the way they heat their homes quite dramatically and think about heat as a commodity.

The event was sponsored by Birmingham Energy Insitute. 

A Golden Decade Ahead for Black Enterprise Report Launch

In October we launched an ambitious five-point plan for Black businesses which could boost the UK economy by unto £100 billion, much of it in the West Midlands. Our five-point plan identifies visible leadership, support through public procurement, provision of capital and loans, effective use of community assets, and more business support and inspiration. 


Speakers included; Professor Monder Ram from Aston University and Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Digital, Chi Onwurah MP. 

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, co-chair co-chair of the West Midlands Forum said, “Between the Commonwealth Games and the first HS2 trains arriving in Birmingham, our region could be looking at a Golden Decade. But that decade must be good for all. That’s why we’re unapologetic in setting out our goal to become Britain’s capital of black enterprise. What this report makes clear, is that this isn’t a flight of fantasy. With the right decisions, we could make it a reality.” 

And Launch of the APPG for Levelling Up Birmingham

Summer Drinks

In July we held the West Midlands Forum summer drinks at the Library of Birmingham in partnership with the new All Party-Parliamentary Group for Levelling Up Birmingham.  

The event was opened up by co-chair Liam Byrne MP and speakers included; Andrew Mitchell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Preet Gill MP, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward. 

The APPG showcases and advocates for Birmingham’s levelling up strategy, Prosperity and Opportunity for All (produced by the City Council and PwC) in a bid to secure the necessary resources and powers to unlock the City’s potential. Further information can be found here.

The event was sponsored by specialist communications consultancy, BECG, Government Affairs consultancy, Cavendish Advocacy and Berkeley St Joseph.

A Golden Decade Ahead: How the West Midlands Powers Forward in the 10 Years Ahead - Book Launch 

With the right decisions, the heart of Britain could be transformed over the decade that takes us from the City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games, through the first High Speed trains drawing into the region.

On 7th March we launched a major collection of essays from leaders across the region, each setting out a wealth of perspectives on the decade ahead. The book is dedicated to West Midlands Forum co-chair Jack Dromey.


The event was chaired by Liam Byrne MP with panelists Cllr Ian Ward, Henrietta Brealey, Beverley Nielsen, Marc Reeves, and Ammo Talwar.

With Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor

West Midlands Forum Launch

Designed to bring together the leaders from politics, industry, business and unions, universities and colleges, the creative, cultural and third sectors, public life and public administration to research, publish and debate new ideas for the heart of Britain, the West Midlands Forum was launched by the Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves in November 2022.


The event was held at Edgbaston Priory Club and was attended by 100+ of the region’s business leaders. On launching the event Rachel Reeves said, “Regions like the West Midlands need to speak with a strong, unified and authoritative voice. This new forum will bring together business, politics, trade unions, academia, faith leaders, the creative sector to make sure that voice is heard”.


Cllr Jim O Boyle, co-chair said: “Coventry as the City of Culture has shown to the world just what we can achieve. We now need to work with our partners across the region to show that we can achieve so much more, especially in taking forward the green industrial agenda. This Forum will provide us with a new space to exchange our visions and priorities.”

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