Birmingham Airport’s chief administration officer and company secretary, Joe Kelly, has been elected as the new president of Solihull Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Kelly replaces Jaguar Land Rover operations director Alan Volkaerts and will serve a term of office lasting two years.

Speaking about his role Mr Kelly said businesses continued to face difficulties but added that the Heseltine review provided the region with an “exciting opportunity”.

“We are in some ways a very fortunate generation never encountering the type of world war conflict our parents’ generation did,” he said.

“But make no mistake we are in a war and it is worldwide and to succeed we are going to have to fight and battle.

“The Heseltine review is a Government initiative which places the region in the limelight and which will provide an exciting opportunity for the chamber and its members.

“The chamber’s ability to help businesses and their people by offering services that connect business to opportunities will become increasingly important in this ever expanding marketplace.”

Mr Kelly, who is a native of Birmingham, said his overall aim was to strengthen the chamber, which is part of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group.

He added: “Our aim will be to ensure that chamber services support all members and future members in the battle towards prosperity.

"This organisation is about its membership and through the executive team we shall provide an unending commitment to making business as successful as we can and as that happens, the chamber as an organisation shall become stronger and business more successful.”

Mr Kelly, a qualified chartered accountant, has responsibility at the airport for supporting the delivery of its new runway extension.