The Culture and Tourism Business Group provides strategic advice to the LEP Board on all matters relation to culture and tourism, to maximise the growth potential of the visitor economy across Coventry and Warwickshire businesses and organisations.  

We are supporting both the Coventry of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games 2022 to realise their full potential, ensure their lasting legacies and achieve the most economic impact across all our communities.  The Group will facilitate and promote partnership working across our region to be proactive in any bids for further recognition for this sector in our region and for funding, including a Tourism Zone.


The Business group will:

  • in line with the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy and Tourism Sector Deal, develop, champion and review a Culture and Tourism Action Plan for Coventry and Warwickshire
  • feed into and support the implementation of the West Midlands Regional Tourism Strategy
  • support the delivery Boards of all relevant Destination Management Plans across the CWLEP Region to ensure cooperation and cross area implementation without duplication
  • facilitate connectivity and complementarity between strategic partnership-based groups and initiatives across the region
  • inform LEP strategic plans with reference to the local visitor economy and culture, tourism and hospitality industry current and future needs, particularly for the implementation of the Local Industrial Strategy
  • work closely with the LEP Productivity and Skills Business Group to ensure that employment and skills training needs of the sector and employers in Coventry and Warwickshire and are shaped and supported
  • ensure support for regional culture and tourism initiatives and ensure intelligence is shared from and to the West Midlands Combined Authority groups, networks and programmes
  • receive intelligence from sector business groups and propose action on culture and tourism activity to address identified barriers to growth in the economy and issues of low productivity
  • ensure that all members enhance the co-ordinating and facilitative role of the Group through:
    • their membership and roles with other sector-related bodies across the region and nationally
    • sharing information and intelligence from those bodies as appropriate with the Group reciprocating by disseminating information on the role and activities of this Group to those bodies.

View the Culture and Tourism Business Group Terms of Reference


Group Chair & CWLEP Board Lead: Helen Peters, Shakespeare's England

Operational Chair and CWLEP Executive: Steve Maxey, North Warwickshire Borough Council

Executive Support: Kate Hughes, CWLEP

Adam Dent, Advent Communications

Joanna Reid, Belgrade Theatre

Stephanie Kerr, BID Leamington Limited

Michael Holland, Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022

Julie Finch, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Limited

Laura McMillan, Coventry City of Culture Trust

Isabel Merrifield, Coventry Cathedral

Paula Deas, CWLEP

Nic Erskine, CWLEP

Neil Curtis, Net Visibility

Kevin Wright, RSC

Stephanie Chettle-Gibrat, Rugby Borough Council

Rich Warren, Rugby First BID Limited

Joe Baconnet, Stratforward BID Limited

Debbie Beardall, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Jo Handford, University of Warwick

Jamie Turner, Warwick Castle

Stuart Cain, Wasps Holdings

Angela Joyce, Warwickshire College Group

Vicki Barnard, Warwickshire County Council

Becky Frall, West Midlands Growth Company

Italics denote representatives of local Business Improvement District organisations (BIDS) – one representative from which will attend each meeting.


Monday, January 18, 2021 - 12:23
Cafe in the Park

Catering outlets at a landmark Midlands country park have beaten their own annual turnover record - despite the ongoing challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 - 11:02

A new children’s play area and water feature have transformed an area of Coventry city centre ahead of UK City of Culture 2021.

Monday, December 21, 2020 - 09:46
Helen Peters

The Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England has been named as one of the new Board of Directors of a leading travel trade association.

Friday, December 18, 2020 - 10:49
World Rugby Hall of Fame

Rugby’s attractions are set to be given a major tourism boost thanks to a brand-new partnership.

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 15:36
City of Culture

Coventry is ‘well placed to lift the spirits of the UK’, according to the advisory panel that awarded the city the title of UK City of Culture 2021.

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 11:41

Apprentices from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have started their training with just six months to go before the launch of events to mark Coventry’s year as UK City of

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 09:37
The first official Coventry 2021 merchandise

The first official Coventry 2021 merchandise has gone on sale – just in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 15:48
Photo at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

A Coventry art gallery has commissioned its first artist as part of a new fund asking local creatives to respond to key themes within its exhibition programme.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 13:46
L-R Beth Kiddie, Production Team Apprentice; Chloee French, Creative Apprentice Producer for Commercial Team; Noof Alhashemi, Creative Apprentice Producer for Dynamic City Team; Samuel Williams, Ticketing Apprentice; Bushra Khan, Programme Assistant Appre

Fourteen apprentices have started on the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ after being appointed to help deliver Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 12:09
Tom Mongan (left) with husband and wife Rick and Sue Cressman

The owner of a leading regional hotel is calling on the Government to provide businesses with a blueprint for the future so they can survive the coming months and then plan for growth.

Useful Links

Regional Tourism Strategy

The West Midlands unveils its £1 billion Tourism Strategy to grow its visitor economy, 18 September 2019:

Find out more about the unveiling Read the Regional Tourism Strategy
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021
Read more
Government's Tourism Sector Deal

Announcement by the Prime Minister on 27 June 2019 of the new tourism sector deal:

Find out more about the announcement Read the Tourism Sector Deal
Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022
Read more

Meeting Dates 2021

In these unprecedented times, to focus our work on the immediate support of our business community and to minimise the spread of Coronavirus, adhering to the Government guidelines, CWLEP Business Group meetings are largely being suspended.

The next scheduled meeting of the Culture and Tourism Business Group is listed below and is currently planned to be held online.  As the current situation is very fast-moving, this will be kept under review and members will be notified of any change to this schedule no later than 7 days prior to any scheduled meeting.

All meetings will take place at 10:00-11:30

  • Tuesday 26 January
  • Wednesday 24 March
  • Thursday 27 May
  • Tuesday 27 July
  • Wednesday 29 September
  • Thursday 2 December