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.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 08:51
Telegraph Hotel, Coventry room

Coventry city centre’s new Telegraph Hotel is to open its doors to guests on November 18, it has been revealed.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 07:42
Christmas Makers Market at FarGo Village in 2019

Coventry’s Creative Quarter is set to continue its much-needed work to support independent businesses following a boost from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 11:07

Coventry City of Culture Trust has announced the first events that will form part of the 365-day programme of UK City of Culture 2021, with a confirmed kick-off date of 15 May, 2021.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 07:46
Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub

Culture, tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire are investing in digital platforms as alternative revenue streams following the impact of Covid-19, according to a

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 09:00
Helen Peters and Cllr Matt Jennings next to the ‘Young Will’ statue in Bancroft Gardens

Visitors to Stratford are now able to learn all about the life of William Shakespeare at their leisure by using a brand-new audio tour guide.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 10:28
Front row from left: Cllr Tony Jackson and Cllr Tony Dixon. Back row from left: Rev Patrick Taylor, William Wilson, and Willie Wilson

Stratford-upon-Avon is a place which knows the value of respecting history and keeping its traditions alive.

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 09:52
Taking Flight exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum

A world exclusive exhibition in Coventry, which celebrates flight, is set for departure this month.

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 09:16
Caption: AEP Press (left to right): Nicole Malatesta (Coventry City of Culture Trust), Lauren Mclardy (artist), Vicki Ridgway (Arden Estate Partnerships)

The link between art and wellbeing has been recognised in a series of new commissions at health centres across Coventry to mark World Mental Health Day (Saturday, October 10).

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 14:52
The Changemakers and Shakers programme logo

Vulnerable young people have been put at the heart of Coventry City of Culture thanks to a ten-week programme, which has culminated in a digital exhibition of artwork.

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 14:05
From left: Cllr Julie Balch, Sharon Hancock, volunteer library lead Richard Fowler, Holly Daffurn

The lockdown experiences of residents of a south Warwickshire village have been turned into poetry – and can now be read by everyone after a special book launch.

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 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 10:00-12:00 - 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