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Solihull


All the latest news, advice and events for the Solihull business community


Contact: Lillian Elekan T: 0121 678 7488


Matthew Hartas: New chairman


Report to investigate state of local economy


Trainee takes over as new chairman


Birmingham Trainee Solicitors Society (BTSS), the 174-year old offshoot of the Birmingham Law Society, has named Wilkes Partnership trainee Matthew Hartas as its new chairman. He said: “I’m really looking forward to getting


started as chair. Since starting at Wilkes I have always been encouraged to get involved in BTSS activities and I could immediately see why. “It is such an active organisation and it not


only helps build relationships within the next generation of lawyers in Birmingham, it also raises money for good causes.” Mr Hartas joined Solihull-based Wilkes last


September, and is currently working in corporate law after spending six months with the firm’s specialist property team. BTSS is made up of more the 300 trainee


solicitors, paralegals, newly qualified solicitors and post-graduate law students across Birmingham and the West Midlands.


On your bike: Martin Johnson (centre) during the training ride


A new comprehensive report into the local economy in Solihull will be launched at the Solihull Chamber of Commerce’s annual Expo. The new report, named ‘Doing Business in


Solihull: An Economic Snapshot’ will offer new insight into the local economy, analysis of businesses operating in Solihull and highlight key local institutions.


‘The report will prove to be a valuable tool for the Solihull business community’


The report, produced by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce – of which Solihull Chamber is part of – aims to support business decisions in regard to further investment and opportunities within Solihull. The report will be launched at a high-profile


panel event taking place at the Solihull Expo on 17 May, at Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport. The launch event will include an overview of


the main findings of the report, followed by a panel discussion featuring a number of leaders in business, policy and politics. Panellists include Kathryn James, managing


director of NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions, Kevin Johns, director of Prime


Accountants Group and Simon Richards, acting managing director of Birmingham Airport. Lillian Elekan, head of Solihull Chamber of


Commerce, said: “Solihull's business community is vibrant, positive and growing – with more firms looking to relocate to the area and record occupancy rates at business parks. “With all this rapid change and momentum,


driven by HS2, Commonwealth Games and other developments, it is of huge value and importance to document and analyse this growing business area. “The launch of this report comes at a perfect


time, in light of these developments, focusing solely on business in Solihull. The report will prove to be a valuable tool for the Solihull business community, organisations considering the area as their next business location and to attract further inward investment.” The report is being sponsored by Prime


Accountants Group. Mr Johns said: “We are amidst an exciting


time for region and it’s great to have the Solihull economic survey to provide statistics to support this belief. As this snapshot outlines Solihull boasts about high levels of employment, entrepreneurs and successful schools, all of which will be essential as we begin to capitalise on the opportunity in front of us.”


New head of sales at NEC Group Arenas


Andy Price has been appointed as head of commercial at the NEC Group Arenas. He will be working for Arena Birmingham and


Resorts World Arena, where he will focus on boosting sales, and will also be helping grow the NEC’s hospitality business, Amplify. Mr Price has a strong background in the music


Rugby star leads cycling event


England rugby star Martin Johnson led more 150 Vélo Birmingham & Midlands cycle race participants on a Saturday morning training ride through Warwickshire countryside. The Solihull-born World Cup-winning captain


and ride ambassador for Vélo took on the 40-mile training ride, just weeks before the event itself. Vélo is one of Europe’s biggest cycling events


and takes place on 12 May, featuring 20,000 cyclists traversing a 100-mile closed-road route,


56 CHAMBERLINK May 2019


and raising a substantial amount for local and national charities. Starting and finishing in Birmingham city


centre, the route will also pass through Coventry. Martin Johnson said: “Events like this are great


for this area. It’s a fantastic place to ride your bike – something people don’t always realise. “It’s great to show off the beautiful


countryside and will be the perfect showpiece for the Midlands.”


and live events industry, having spent seven years as regional marketing director at Midlands- based radio stations Free Radio and Gem. Most recently, he was client services director


at creative communications agency Alive. He said: “This role is a fantastic opportunity


for me to work in two world-class venues that I’ve spent a lot of time in – both during my time at Free Radio and as a lover of live events. “A huge amount of investment has gone into


the Arenas over the past few years and it’s a very exciting time to be joining the team.” Guy Dunstan, Director of NEC Group Arenas,


said: “Andy brings a wealth of experience in high-profile live events and has a proven track record of delivering new ideas which sets him in excellent stead for this position.”


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