LEP makes major planning appointment

Friday 17th of October 2014 12:00 AM

The Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub has made a key appointment in its drive to help business.

CW Growth Hub - formed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership - is a one-stop-shop for support and advice for businesses and has appointed Chris Wightman as its independent planning advisor.

Wightman’s new role will see him providing planning advice to expanding companies and working with the local planning authorities and government agencies.   This integrates with all other free business advisory services provided at the Growth Hub.

The role was created after feedback from firms in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) sector indicated that their inability to navigate speedily and successfully through the planning process was a significant barrier to growth.

Wightman, who comes from Barwell, near Hinckley, joins the Growth Hub team after 12 years working in Australia.

“I am really excited to return for this role, which I believe will play a tangible part in helping to realise the growth potential for Coventry and Warwickshire,” he said.

“I worked in the private sector in the UK and then in the public sector in Australia so have experienced both worlds.

“Having just arrived back in the area I come at this with a very fresh perspective which I think will be a very positive thing. My aim is to help companies find their way through the system as speedily as possible so they can concentrate on doing what they do best, and have the ability to realise their potential.

“I will also work with authorities on strategic planning policy and help ensure that the voice of business and their needs are well represented.”

The 41-year-old trained at Newcastle University and worked for Jones Lang LaSalle in London before moving to Australia.

Managing Director of the CW Growth Hub, Craig Humphrey, said:  “The LEP has already done some very good work – such as the successful completion of the Planning Protocol for all local planning authorities in Coventry and Warwickshire – and we will continue to work together to deliver a ‘fast track’ planning service for the AME sector.

“Chris brings a wealth of planning experience from the public and private sector and will work with the CW Growth Hub team to ensure high quality planning outcomes in the required time frames.”

For further information regarding planning assistance at the CW Growth Hub please contact Chris Wightman on 02476 823937 or email chris.wightman@cwgrowthhub.co.uk


CAPTIONS (Left to right): Anna Rose (chair of the LEP Planning Group), Chris Wightman (CW Growth Hub), Craig Humphrey (CW Growth Hub)

Category: Announcements