New faces to lead Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership

CW LEP Brian Colquhoun & Martin Holingsworth

One of the leading business support organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire has appointed a new chair and board member.

CW LEP Martyn HollingsworthMartyn Hollingsworth has taken over as chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub Subsidiary Board from Martin Kane, a special advisor to the executive team at Severn Trent.

Brian Colquhoun, who worked for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, now Virgin Money, for 39 years has been appointed a non-executive director.

Martyn worked at Jaguar Land Rover until 2014 rising to Director, Engineering Technical Services, and when he retired was asked to lead the formation of Jaguar Land Rover’s Heritage Department, part of the Special Operations Division. He then became a director of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust until his retirement last August, and was a founding board member of the CWLEP.

He also set-up a consultancy business called MPH Consultancies Limited several years ago to provide management advice.

Martyn said the CWLEP Growth Hub has proven its importance to the business community in Coventry and Warwickshire during Covid-19.

“We are going through extraordinary times at the moment and the focus of the Growth Hub is on helping local businesses and enterprises during these troubling times, giving them the help and support they need,” he said.

“The Growth Hub has never experienced a more important time to help businesses get back on their feet again.

“The new normal, whatever that may turn out to be, will be very different for us all and I think the Growth Hub will be in high demand in the next few years to help businesses adapt.

“There is an excellent team at the Growth Hub including the managing director and account managers who have all gone above and beyond over the last few months to give businesses the support they need.

“That has been possible because of the foundations which have been laid over the last few years focusing on supporting Coventry and Warwickshire businesses.”

CW LEP Brian ColquhounBrian was the regional director for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank for the Midlands for six years which involved beingresponsible for the bank’s centre in Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Northampton, Peterborough, Oxford, Gloucester and Exeter until he was promoted to UK head of commercial banking.

Brian was also the first chair of the CWLEP’s Access to Finance Business Group and he believes this experience will be invaluable in his new role.

He said: “The CWLEP Growth Hub is a stellar example of why these organisations were launched because they are a shining light of best practice.

“Now more than ever, the Growth Hub is providing an essential service because of the Covid-19 restrictions and all the challenges it is bringing because it is key to the continued success of the local economy.

“I think my experience from my career and being part of the LEP Access to Finance Business Group which was all about different sorts of finance such as Business Angels or Venture Capital will be important since the Growth Hub is helping to protect businesses and keep them in existence.”