John Russell has been revealed as the new chairman of the West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium.
Mr Russell, who previously held senior positions at Manganese Bronze, Harley Davidson and Land Rover, aims to unleash the West Midland’s engineering potential.
The former electrical engineering graduate is keen to use his position at the helm of WMMC to help create the right climate for growth by ensuring manufacturers receive the specialist assistance they need to expand and create jobs.
“Manufacturers aren’t looking for hand-outs, they are just looking for help with key issues that are holding them back. This is where I believe we can make a real difference,” said Mr Russell.
“The WMMC’s main role is to deliver the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) in the West Midlands, North West and the North East and we’re currently supporting in excess of 4000 companies ever year.”
“This is having a real impact as millions of pounds have been added to the three regional economies as a result of MAS support.”
Mr Russell’s last role before becoming chairman of WMMC was as chief executive of Manganese Bronze, the firm that produces the iconic London black cab.
While at the helm, Mr Russell managed to overcome a difficult period in the company’s history and transferred ownership to Chinese firm Geely to ensuring production stayed in Coventry.
Lorraine Holmes, chief executive of WMMC said: “We are delighted to have John Russell on board. His experience in industrial roles across the world, combined with his spell as chairman of CBI West Midlands, make him the perfect individual to take us forward.”
In addition to Mr Russell’s appointment, the WMMC also announced a number of new members to its board.
These included Peter Brookes (WMMC), Richard Halstead, Andrew Buckley (both EEF), Richard Hutchins, Mark Pickering (both Warwick Manufacturing Group) and Harry Reilly, who becomes chair of the Audit Committee.
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