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New executives at Marketing Birmingham as Shakespeare campaign unveiled

New executives at Marketing Birmingham as Shakespeare campaign unveiled

🕔10.Mar 2016

Marketing Birmingham, the region’s strategic marketing and inward investment agency, has appointed two new executive directors.

Dr Richard Hutchins becomes Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy, with Nicola Hewitt joining as Commercial Director.

Ms Hewitt brings a strong commercial background with her, having held international marketing roles with Codemasters and Brintons Carpets. She will lead Marketing Birmingham’s business attraction and business growth teams.

Richard Hutchins is currently a director of Warwick Manufacturing Group.  Before that he was Deputy Chief Executive at the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands.

Mr Hutchins has a commercial background in the food sector including Business Director for IGD, the UK’s leading research, education and training organisation for the food industry.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, said:

It is critical that Marketing Birmingham continues to provide exemplary service to its customers and responds positively to the changing regional political geography.  In Nicola and Richard we have two people who I am sure will make a significant contribution to the region’s economic prospects.

Marketing Birmingham recently agreed a new service level agreement with Birmingham city council which will enable the agency to extend its services across the WMCA area.

The new appointments were announced as Marketing Birmingham unveiled a ‘Shakespeare 2016’ campaign designed to boost international visitors and students, as the region celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare’s legacy.

The campaign is led by Shakespeare’s England, Marketing Birmingham, Leicester Shire Promotions and The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and supported by the GREAT UK Challenge Fund.

It will use the region’s connections with Shakespeare to entice visitors from the North American market to experience a cultural break in the Midlands.

The Shakespeare 2016 campaign is one of a number of projects to benefit from the Government’s GREAT Britain campaign.

Central to the campaign is a new Shakespeare microsite – the first digital platform to showcase all 20 of the Midlands’ key destinations and attractions associated with the playwright. Placed alongside the VisitBritain website and targeting a US audience, the new site aims to inspire and engage potential visitors, enabling them to pinpoint attractions along a 100 mile route linking Birmingham, Leicester, and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Marketing Birmingham, said: 

“It’s a real honour to be part of the Midlands partnership responsible for commemorating and promoting the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s legacy. This milestone will help to reinforce the region’s reputation as a global destination for cultural and heritage tourism.

“The words of Shakespeare have drawn tourists here for hundreds of years, from all walks of life, spanning continents and cultures. Visitors from the worlds of literature, academia and every creative medium have long drawn inspiration from the historical landmarks of Shakespeare here in the Midlands.

The new Shakespeare site will open doors of opportunities for businesses and attractions across the area. It will provide a seamless way to connect with international visitors, helping us to showcase the iconic spots and hidden gems associated with Shakespeare that exist here.

The campaign is also supported by the British Council, which will be working with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to promote the Midlands as a world-class destination of choice for international students. Between March 13th – 19th, 20 US-based high school counsellors will tour and meet with representatives from over 20 universities from across the region.

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