Black Country LEP welcome new Chair

Local industrialist takes up lead role.

The Black Country Local enterprise Partnership has announced that Tom Westley DL is to be their new chair. Tom takes up the position following eight years of service from Stewart Towe CBE and will lead an eighteen-strong Board with representatives from business and the local authorities across the Black Country.

Tom (pictured), who has been an active Black Country LEP Board member since May 2013, with a particular focus on the Black Country’s successful Enterprise Zones, commenced the role on 1st March.

Sarah Middleton, Chief Executive, Black Country Consortium Ltd said: “We are delighted that Tom has stepped into this role, he brings a wealth of experience of advocating for the Black Country both here in the region but also nationally and internationally.

“We would also like to thank Stewart Towe for his amazing support, dedication and hard-work over the last 8 years and will be celebrating his achievements over the coming months.”

Tom Westley, Black Country LEP Chair said: “Born in the Black Country and working here, the economic success of the area is important to me both on a personal and professional level and I hope through this new role I can continue to support the team in ensuring we continue to build the area’s reputation both within the Black Country and beyond.

“Stewart has made a very significant contribution to the Black Country in his role as chair of the LEP, it was fantastic to sit alongside him on the Board. I hope to continue Stewart’s work in championing and driving forward the Black Country.”

Tom is chairman of the Westley Group, one of Europe’s largest copper-based alloy foundry and engineering groups, consisting of five brands; Spunalloys, Walter Frank, Francis W Birkett, Westleys, JT Price and Meighs Ltd. The group employs more than 300 people and has a turnover in excess of £30 million. Tom is also Chairman of Westley Plastics Ltd, an independent specialist manufacturer of nylon components.

Tom Westley will continue as Board Lead on Enterprise Zones and Energy and chair of the Enterprise Zones Management Steering Group. He is also a member of the Funding Applications Sub-Group and a LEP representative on the Black Country Joint Advisory Group. Tom is also Director of the West Midlands Growth Company.

In 2017, Tom was made Deputy Lieutenant to Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands.