A prominent business figure in the West Midlands has been recognised for his efforts in supporting the region’s industry.
Nick Paul, chairman of Advantage West Midlands, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
He has been given the award in recognition of his many services to business, including his chairmanship of Advantage West Midlands and also the MG Rover Taskforce, the group set up to coordinate the response to the closure of the giant Longbridge car plant.
Around 95 per cent of employees made redundant when the MG Rover plant closed in April 2005 have now found work and the site is being transformed into a technology park and mixed-use development.
Before taking over as chairman of Advantage West Midlands, Mr Paul was formerly chairman of the West Midlands Confederation of British Industry and a member of the CBI Manufacturing Council.
He was also deputy chief executive of international engineering group IMI plc.
Mr Paul is currently chairman of Tricorn Group plc - a group of companies that develop and manufacture products and services for the environmental engineering sector - and also chairman of Midland Expressway.
He said: “I am both delighted and honoured to be given this award, and I would like to thank my colleagues at Advantage West Midlands for all their hard work and commitment over the years.
“Without their passion and enthusiasm, we would not have made the real tangible progress that we have seen right across the region.
“During my period at Advantage West Midlands I have seen time and time again what we, and our partners from both the public and private sector, can achieve when we work together in partnership. I am convinced this approach will serve the region well in the difficult times ahead.”
Mr Paul, who is married with four children and four grand-children, is equally passionate about steam trains and rugby union, hence his roles as a non-executive director of the Severn Valley Railway and as a board member of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club.
He became chairman of Advantage West Midlands in December 2002 and was re-appointed to the post for a second term, running up to December 2009.
Advantage West Midlands has an annual budget of more than £300 million to invest in the economic development of the region.