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.


Friday, July 3, 2020 - 08:31

Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture will now start in May 2021, beginning 12 months of events that celebrate the city and its people.

Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 10:07

Firms in Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to put themselves in the frame for £145 million worth of Commonwealth Games contracts available in 2020.

Monday, June 29, 2020 - 14:53

Courts at a much-loved tennis club in Royal Leamington Spa are to be improved in the countdown to the town hosting the Lawn and Para Bowls for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 12:29

A new generation of cultural and artistic leaders have been chosen to take part in a major leadership programme as part of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.

Monday, June 22, 2020 - 13:13

Hundreds of local unemployed people are to benefit from a £500,000 training programme to help them gain new jobs and life skills ahead of Coventry City of Culture 2021.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 13:19

Coventry City of Culture Trust has issued a callout to manufacturers, makers, artists, suppliers, and artisans across Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands to propose ideas for merchan

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 11:13

The second annual Coventry Welcomes festival will be broadcast online when it returns next week (June 15-20) to celebrate Refugee Week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 10:56

A leading affordable housing group has given its backing to Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.

Friday, June 5, 2020 - 08:12

Millions of pounds of extra tourism, trade and investment could be secured from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games under plans that would also bolster the region’s post-Covid-19 economic recove

Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 08:12

Regional leaders have called on Government to allow the West Midlands to become a national test bed for an early reopening of the tourism, hospitality and cultural sector.

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 2020

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 on Tuesday 21 April 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 Tuesday 14 April. 


All meetings will take place at 10:00-12:00 - venues to be confirmed

Tuesday 21 April 2020 (to be held online - details to be circulated)

Tuesday 23 June

Wednesday 9 September

Tuesday 27 October

Wednesday 15 December