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The board

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The board

Sir John Peace

Strategic Board Chair

Sir John Peace chairs Midlands Connect and the Midlands Engine. He has a long and distinguished business career at the highest levels covering the technology, financial services and retail sectors. He is a Founder, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Experian plc, former Chief Executive of GUS Plc, former Chairman of Standard Chartered plc and until July 2018 was Chairman of Burberry plc. He was knighted in 2011 for services to the business and voluntary sector, and has been Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire since 2012.

Nick Abell

Steering Group Chairman

Nick qualified as a solicitor in 1982, was promoted to partner in 1988 and then senior partner until he stepped down from the role four years ago. He is currently Vice chairman of Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, chairman of Wright Hassall, which is a leading law firm in the region, and Stratford-upon-Avon Cricket Club, as well as being a trustee at the Elizabeth Creek Charitable Trust.

Our governance structure

Midlands Connect has a robust governance structure which provides leadership, accountability, expertise and oversight of the Midlands Connect programme.

Our structure has several layers:

  • Partnership Advisory Board - meets once a year
  • Strategic Board - meets three times a year
  • Steering Group - meets six times a year
  • Technical Advisory Group - meets three times a year
  • Technical Programme Sub-Groups - meets in line with the needs of the technical programme.

Strategic board members

Our Strategic Board includes local authority leaders, local enterprise partnership chairs and representatives from national delivery bodies, our Steering Group and the Department for Transport. Membership lists are live lists and will be reviewed regularly with partners.

  • Sir John Peace, Chair, Midlands Connect
  • Rt Hon. Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, DfT
  • Emma Ward, Director General for Roads, Places and Environment Group, DfT
  • Cllr Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Cllr Alan White, Leader, Staffordshire County CouncilCllr Simon Geraghty, Leader, Worcestershire County Council
  • Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor
  • Cllr Nicholas Rushton, Leader, Leicestershire County Council
  • Cllr Ben Bradley, Leader, Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Alun Rogers, Chairman, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP
  • Elizabeth Fagan, Chair, D2N2 LEP
  • Alexandra Batey, Sponsorship Director, Phase Two, HS2 Ltd
  • David Golding, Network Rail
  • Nick Harris, Chief Executive, National Highways
  • Nick Abell, Chair of Midlands Connect Steering Group
  • Maria Machancoses, CEO, Midlands Connect
  • Linda Horne, Finance Director, West Midlands Combined Authority

Steering group members

Our Steering Group includes representatives from local transport authorities, local enterprise partnerships, chambers of commerce, airports and national delivery bodies and the Department for Transport. Membership lists are live lists and will be reviewed regularly with partners.

  • Nick Abell, Steering Group Chair and Chair, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP
  • Andy Gutherson, Steering Group Vice Chair and Executive Director of Place, Lincolnshire Country Council
  • Andrew Smith, Director of Planning, Development and Transportation, Leicester City Council
  • Colin Knight, Director of Planning, Transportation and Highways, Coventry City Council
  • Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities, Warwickshire County Council
  • Paula Deas, Deputy CEO, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP
  • Will Morlidge, CEO, D2N2 LEP
  • Andy Rhind, Midlands, SW and Regional Programmes, Department for Transport
  • Simon Richards, Chief Finance and Engineering Officer, Birmingham Airport
  • Jon Bottomley, Planning Manager, East Midlands Airport
  • Chris Hobson, Director of Policy and External Affairs, East Midlands Chamber
  • Henrietta Brealey, CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
  • Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety, National Highways
  • Tom Pooler, Project Sponsor, HS2 Ltd
  • Chris Cole, Lead Strategic Planner, Network Rail
  • Malcolm Holmes, Executive Director, West Midlands Rail Executive
  • Maria Machancoses, CEO, Midlands Connect