Business leaders need to work together to combat Coronavirus challenges

Champions Alan Higgs 8

Business leaders from across Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to work together to overcome the economic and health challenges posed by coronavirus.

Dame Stella Manzie, current chair of the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire (HCW) NHS Trust and former chief executive of Coventry City Council, has highlighted the importance of local business networks in the face of COVID-19 and Brexit.

She was speaking as part of a Coventry & Warwickshire Champions networking event which was held overlooking the new 50 metre swimming pool at the Alan Higgs Centre.

The event attracted more than 150 delegates from across the region, and the economic impact of coronavirus was at the forefront of discussions.

Dame Stella said: “With Brexit and COVID-19, it’s extremely important that business networks across the region work together.

“It’s crucial that private and public sectors also join forces to promote the key messages, which will have both an impact on health and wellbeing of the community.”

Attendees at the breakfast event heard from Florian Niehaves, technical manager at AVL Powertrain UK Ltd.

He provided an insight into AVL’s global presence in the automotive sector and his experience of working in Coventry and Warwickshire, highlighting the development of the Testing Tech Centre at Ansty Park near Coventry.

Florian also discussed the current challenges hitting the automotive industry in the wake of coronavirus and Brexit.

Steven Greenall, CEO of award-winning Warwick Music Group, the parent company of the pBone and pTrumpet was also among the speakers.

He charted the rise of his business since the creation of the pBone in 2012, which has gone on to revolutionise the musical instrument industry.

Delegates also heard from Paul Breed, CEO of CV Life, outlining the £67.5 million investment in sport and leisure facilities across Coventry – with the final project being the newly opened pool at the Alan Higgs Centre.

Les Ratcliffe, Chair of the CW Place Board, added: “It was an impressive line-up of speakers for our March event and a fantastic turn-out at the state-of-the-art Alan Higgs Centre.

“It was important to highlight at this event the external challenges facing businesses, and our speakers were able to provide important insight on how businesses across the region can work together to combat these challenges.”