IAB president joins LEP board

Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) president Saqib Bhatti


Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) president Saqib Bhatti
Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) president Saqib Bhatti

Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) president Saqib Bhatti has joined the board of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
Mr Bhatti is an associate at chartered accountants Younis Bhatti & Co, and is also a board member of the Broad Street Business Improvement District.
He said: “It is a real privilege to be appointed to the GBSLEP. Over the years, it has done some really great work in bringing together stakeholders and creating a collective strategy aimed at nurturing growth, increasing employment and creating a competitive economic environment.
“With my appointment, the board continues to recognise the importance of the SME sector and how vital it is to long-term economic sustainability.
“As a chartered accountant who represents many small businesses and as president of the Institute of Asian Businesses, I am looking forward to providing a voice for SMEs and working to positively shape the future of the region.”
Also new to the board is Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College. At the same time, board members Norman Cave, from Bournville College, and Chris Webster, of Miller Construction, have left the board.
Andy Street, chairman of the GBSLEP, said: “Chris Webster has committed a lot of time and energy to taking forward the LEP’s agenda, working closely with a wide range of partners to bring forward sites for housing and employment use.
“His work has included overseeing the development of the LEP’s spatial plan and a programme of regeneration proposals that secured investment in the Growth Deal. He has also supported the delivery of the public assets element of the City Deal which saw the first site, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub, released to market in January.”
Mr Webster has also been the board’s EZ champion, overseeing the development and instigating delivery of the £275m EZ Investment Plan which is supporting a wide range of projects in the city including Paradise, Midland Metro Extension to Centenary Square, Garrison Data Centre, iCentrum, and Masshouse.
The EZ has spent £18m in the last financial year, which has brought around 60,000 sq m of new and refurbished space and nearly 1,000 employment positions being filled as a result of EZ investment.

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