Night Time adviser to champion West Midlands hospitality

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Dynamic role: Quest for new West Midlands night time adviser (Getty/ ChrisHepburn)
Dynamic role: Quest for new West Midlands night time adviser (Getty/ ChrisHepburn)

Related tags West midlands NTIA Health and safety Freehouse

The West Midlands is on the search for a night time economy leader to champion hospitality and help the sector build back from the pandemic.

The unpaid role will be filled by a high-profile business leader who will champion pubs, clubs, bars, concert venues, theatres and restaurants in the region. The person will bring businesses together with wider stakeholders to push for investment.

The West Midlands leader will work closely with the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) to build on the successes of the role in London, Greater Manchester and Bristol, where night time advisers have coordinated action for their sector.

The position may include tackling issues like training opportunities to deal with staff shortages and improvements in safety for customers and staff. It will also involve lobbying Government to provide support for the sector.

West Midlands mayor and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) chair Andy Street said despite the challenges and cost pressures facing business, hospitality remained a critical sector for our region and an area with major potential for future growth.

“But,” he continued, “it remains under-represented, and as we bounce back from the economic shock of Covid I believe now is the time to bring in a champion for the Night Time Economy who can help galvanise and lead the sector."

Dynamic individual

He added: “The Commonwealth Games showed the world what great hosts we can be, and now is the time to build on that by creating the jobs for local people, attracting new and returning visitors, and helping drive the West Midlands economy forward.

“We need a dynamic and high-profile individual to help us achieve that, and I look forward to seeing the applications that come forward.”

As well as working with the West Midlands Growth Company, the adviser will be co-opted to the newly convening West Midlands Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board to ensure a joined-up approach for the sector.

City of Wolverhampton Council leader and WMCA portfolio lead for economy and innovation Ian Brookfield said: “Our restaurants, pubs, clubs, theatres and other nightspots have had a torrid time recently from full closure during lockdowns to now being hit by soaring energy prices and other costs.

“We have already made some progress with the hospitality sector – such as expanding training opportunities for kitchen staff – but now we need to go further.

“And it is right that we have someone in place who has direct experience and can speak up for the sector as we develop further plans and policies to support it through this difficult period and beyond.”

Amazing news

The creation of this role will build on the progress of the WMCA’s Hospitality Skills Taskforce, chaired by celebrity chef Glynn Purnell, whose work included funding for more than 1,000 places to help businesses train up recruits.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said it was “amazing news” to hear that the Mayor and the West Midlands Combined Authority will be appointing a Night Time Economy Adviser for the region.

He continued: “The NTIA has been an advocate for this role for many years, campaigning for every city and town across the country to have a nightlife champion, in a bid to strengthen the network of representation and promote the important role the industry plays in the recovery of the country and the ongoing economic success of our communities across the UK.

"We look forward to continuing our work with the WMCA in developing the role within the region and the active part it will play in promoting and shaping nightlife across the UK.”

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