Stoke Staffs LEP
Midlands Engine chair Sir John Peace to speak at LEP conference
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Midlands Engine chair Sir John Peace to speak at LEP conference

Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace will be the keynote speaker at Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s annual conference next week.

The Midlands Engine is the organisation bringing together the 10 local enterprise partnerships in the Midlands, plus businesses and local authorities across the entire region to drive economic growth and raise the international profile of the Midlands as a great place to do business.

Sir John, who was appointed Midlands Engine chairman in 2016, will be talking about the organisation’s newly launched Vision for Growth at the conference on Friday 20th October at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, near Stone.

Sir John, who was knighted in 2011 for services to business and the voluntary sector, was formerly chief executive and founder of Experian plc, chief executive of GUS plc and chairman of Standard Chartered plc, and is currently chairman of Burberry plc.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “We are delighted to welcome Sir John to our conference. The Midlands Engine vision for growth will be of great relevance and interest to our local businesses as we gear up for our post-Brexit future.

“The Midlands Engine has vital role to play in coordinating jobs, skills, transport and growth plans across our region and enabling us to punch above our weight on the world stage.”

Businesses throughout the area are invited to the conference, which is free to attend. The event, which runs from 9.15am to 12.30pm, followed by lunch and networking, will be an opportunity to hear first-hand from the businesses and organisations driving innovation, skills and economic growth across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and to celebrate progress on the LEP’s aims of delivering jobs and growth.

The conference will be introduced by LEP chairman David Frost CBE, who will give a round-up of the LEP’s partnership working with business and public sector partners, its achievements to date and its future plans to continue driving economic growth.

Other speakers include:

  • LEP board member Sarah Montgomery, chair of Destination Staffordshire and managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, who will be speaking about the importance of the tourism and leisure sector to the economy.
  • Mark Bowen, commercial director of Queen’s Award for Enterprise-winning Cannock firm ATP Industries Group, speaking on promoting innovation and ambition.
  • David Berks, strategic director of Penkridge-based construction recruitment specialists PSR Solutions, winners of the Business of the Year 2017 title in the Staffordshire Chambers awards.
  • Josie Morris, managing director of innovative and award-winning eco-friendly packaging firm Woolcool, based in Stone.

There will also be presentations from Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cllr Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and the opportunity to meet some of the LEP board members leading on the delivery of a range of innovative projects benefitting our area.

If you would like to attend please contact LEP office manager Julie Frost at or 01785 719002, or communications manager Alison Thomas at or 01785 719003.