The Rail Forum, which represents over 160 rail related businesses across the Midlands, has changed its name to better reflect its membership; as well as align with the increasingly important Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect sub-national bodies.
The decision to adopt the name Rail Forum Midlands was taken yesterday at the Forum’s AGM, and reflects the growing importance of the Midlands as a distinct political and economic region.
Elaine Clark, Rail Forum General Manager, said: “A growing number of our members and regional stakeholders have asked us to work with rail businesses in both the West and East Midlands so that our collective voice can be better heard in Whitehall and Westminster.
“We already have members drawn from across the entire Midlands region and adjacent cities and today’s subtle rebrand will allow us to offer Rail Forum events and services in locations outside of our traditional East Midlands geography. More importantly it will allow us to partner with educational and industrial partners across the Midlands, which is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy.”
Paul Francis, Chair of the Rail Forum, said: “Over the last three years or so we have transformed the Rail Forum into a highly-respected business focussed organization with a set of clear priorities aimed at helping our members’ businesses to succeed. Our newly strengthened Board will ensure that we build on that work.”
Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South, said “I have seen the excellent work that the Rail Forum has done with the railway supply chain across the East Midlands. Bringing together the railway industry across the Midlands makes perfect sense. I hope the newly expanded Rail Forum will continue to grow awareness of the entire Midlands rail industry, as well as support an increase in supply chain orders both at home and abroad”
Andrew Pritchard, Director of Policy & Infrastructure for East Midlands Councils said: “Enhanced East – West connectivity across the Midlands is one of the key aspirations we share with Midlands Connect. Creating a body that represents the entirety of the Midlands rail industry will help remind central Government we have regional businesses ready and willing to make our vision for enhanced connectivity a reality.”