Top businessman to chair Midlands Connect transport partnership
Midlands Connect, the partnership formed to transform transport links across the west and east Midlands, has appointed prominent businessman Sir John Pearce as its independent chairman.
Sir John, who is chairman of the global luxury brand, Burberry Group plc and leading international banking group Standard Chartered PLC, will support the partnership as it develops a Midlands-wide transport strategy that can unlock economic growth and power the Government’s vision of a ‘Midlands Engine’.
A partnership of Midland councils and transport organisations, Midlands Connect is working closely with the Government to maximise the transportation opportunities afforded to the devolved combined authorities.
Nottinghamshire-born Sir John said:
I am delighted and excited to be working with Midlands Connect.
I care deeply about the Midlands and I’m extremely proud of its heritage and role as the UK’s manufacturing heartland.
But it has so much more economic potential still to be tapped, which is why the Government has tasked us with identifying the transport infrastructure needed to help unlock that growth and help power the Midlands Engine.
This is a crucial piece of work because the constraints on the region’s existing road and rail networks are holding back our economy and making our businesses less competitive.
If we can speed up journey times across the Midlands we could boost our economy by more than £1 billion a year, create an additional 300,000 jobs, save businesses nearly £500 million and provide a more prosperous future for the region’s 11 million people.
Sir John was appointed at the inaugural meeting of the Midlands Connect board in Birmingham.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who is an associate member of the Midlands Connect board, said:
Good transport doesn’t just help people get around. It helps them get on.
It’s clear that by developing a single transport strategy for the region, Midlands Connect will make a huge contribution to boosting the region’s economy.
That is why the government has provided £5 million to take this work forward. I am delighted to see Sir John Peace appointed as the group’s independent chair. His skills and experience will be vital in helping make the Midlands an Engine for Growth.
Sir John is the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.
He is committed to supporting his local community and has a longstanding interest in education. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he has been a trustee of the Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham since 1999 and chairs the Nottingham Economic Growth Board.
He set up a youth employment fund when he was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 2011 and was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours list the same year for services to business and the voluntary sector.
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