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.


Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 09:20

The Coventry City of Culture Trust is immediately investing in a fund to support individuals and organisations in the arts and cultural sector who are facing urgent pressures caused by loss of work

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 14:24

A ground-breaking campaign to encourage organisations to improve their approach to increasing participation and equality has signed up its fiftieth organisation.

Monday, March 2, 2020 - 11:20

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, President of the Royal Shakespeare Company, visited Stratford-upon-Avon where he found out more about the restoration and redevelopment work of the RSC’s Cos

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 10:49

Volunteers are needed to help design a new scheme under which motorists would be paid up to £3,000 a year to give up their cars.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 09:47

Coventry is going back to the future as part of an £44 million programme of works to improve its city centre.

Monday, February 10, 2020 - 14:45

Hundreds of adults will benefit from better skills and jobs thanks to a £3.5m training boost in the West Midlands to help them make the most of opportunities across the region, such as those provid

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 11:11

A leading college group is helping businesses to future-proof their workforces and bridge the skills gap by launching two skills centres in the region.

Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 14:01

The West Midlands has won praise as a leading business tourism destination from UK-based event organisers in the annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS).

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 14:21

Local experts from the West Midlands are being encouraged to apply for a position on the new Regional Board for Tourism.

Monday, January 6, 2020 - 14:18
  • Record breaking year for the versatile smart travel card with 240,000 customers using it to get about the region

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