1813 Club and Premier Members Manufacturers ‘must be prepared’

The continuing arguments and unrest over Brexit have led to a Midlands manufacturing expert calling on industry to put uncertainty to one side and seizing every opportunity it can in order to thrive in the future. Johnathan Dudley (pictured),

partner and head of manufacturing at accountant Crowe Clark Whitehill, said while there was the ‘ever continuing spectre of this uncertainty’ over the deal being brokered over Britain’s exit, businesses had to plan to deal with the situation right now. “There are opportunities out

there, some of them presented by the latest technology and if the UK manufacturing sector does not grasp them, someone else will,” he said. Mr Dudley’s comments came on

the day that Midlands manufacturing giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) confirmed the loss of 1,000 jobs at two of its factories,

blaming uncertainty over Brexit and confusion over diesel-powered vehicles. Around 90 per cent of JLR’s UK sales are diesels. However, Mr Dudley said that

JLR would remain as a manufacturing beacon for the Midlands, and it was time other businesses stepped-up to help drive the region forward. He said: “The message has to be

going forward that JLR have been fabulous for the region and will continue to be so. We can’t expect them to continue to be the only driving force. “What business should be doing

is embracing the opportunities presented by HS2 and the Commonwealth Games. “HS2 will open up the City of

London, one of the world’s main financial centres, which will only be an hour away. “We need to ensure that we

showcase what we do – the opportunities being presented to

Barker Brettell welcomes Andy as managing partner

Barker Brettell’s Andy Tranter has taken over as managing partner, replacing Cilla Makovski. Andy, a patent partner who has

been a key member of the firm’s leadership board since 2001, will serve a three-year term. He will continue with his

professional work which includes serving as head of the firm’s automotive sector group. Andy said: “Investment will be

my focus - in our people, our IT infrastructure and our clients. It is a privilege to be elected to the role. “We have enjoyed consistent growth over a number of years

Cilla Makovski and Andy Tranter

which has put the partnership in a strong financial position. I am delighted to serve as managing partner of Barker Brettell, and to drive further forward our firm’s growth and development.” Barker Brettell has also announced that trademark partner Lucy Walker has been appointed to the firm’s leadership board. Lucy has been a partner at the

firm since 2012 and specialises in advising clients in the automotive and medical sectors. In addition, patent attorney Dave

Combes has been appointed to the role of partner.

‘JLR have been fabulous for the region and will continue to be so. We can’t expect them to continue to be the only driving force’

Birmingham and the West Midlands now is greater than at any other time in our lifetime. “We are living in a golden age –

we have a regional city to be proud of. We make iconic world class products right from the Jewellery Quarter up to JLR and we shouldn’t be apologising for being Brummie, we should be proud of it.” He added that there were a

number of ways manufacturers should be preparing for Brexit during 2018, including reviewing borrowing requirements, recruitment and skills and environmental processes. Manufacturers of all sizes should

also ensure that, wherever they can, they are early adopters of new technologies. He said that this was particularly applicable to the automotive sector, which was going to see a revolution in the next five years involving vehicles switching from fossil fuels to electrical power.

Ricoh named best venue

Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has won a top industry award. The venue – home to top rugby team Wasps and League Two footballers Coventry City FC – has been named ‘Best Venue Under 8,000sq m’ at the Exhibition News Awards. These awards are described as ‘the Oscars of the exhibition

industry’ and the win is the latest in a long line of industry accolades for the Ricoh Arena, which was opened in 2005. Stuart Cain, group commercial director for Wasps and Ricoh Arena,

said: “The Exhibition News Awards recognise the best performers in the conference and exhibition industry so this is a real achievement for our team. “We knew that we had a strong case because we have really driven

the business forward in the last 12 months, but the awards are very keenly contested and attract the cream of the sector. “We held 58 exhibitions in 2017, which was an increase of more than

10 per cent and in a tough and competitive market, that is a very strong performance. “We have an on-going investment programme which has, for

example, seen the installation of a super-fast Wi-Fi internet connection – more than 270 times the speed of the average UK home – enabling thousands of people to simultaneously stream content. “The onsite DoubleTree by Hilton hotel has also undergone a state-

of-the-art refurbishment, while the Ricoh Business Lounge has been transformed into a flexible working space with interactive whiteboards and high-speed Wi-Fi, and is tailored to different ways of working. The 58 exhibitions included 18 new events.


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