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Meet the team - Katie Trout

1. Name:

Katie Trout

2. Tell us about your job, and what your current focus is:

As Director, I am responsible for setting the strategic direction of the GBSLEP and the delivery of its ambitions, working directly to the LEP Board. I lead our talented Executive team and oversee the LEP’s operations.
My focus is on ensuring that we are delivering our Strategic Economic Plan. We have ten Delivery Plans in place covering our key growth sectors and cross-cutting themes.
These guide our activity and will result in a real difference to local people and businesses. I am also committed to us being an active partner in the West Midlands, working closely with our neighbouring LEPs and the West Midlands Combined Authority to improve our local economy.

3. What are you most proud of achieving at the LEP?

I am most proud of the strength of the partnership that we have created. The LEP has brought together the private, public and education sectors from across Greater Birmingham and Solihull in a way that has not been achieved before. Everything that we have achieved over the past eight years has been due to this collaboration, with each partner bringing their particular skills and expertise to the table.

4. What upcoming event or project in the region are you most looking forward to?

I know it’s a number of years away, but I am already really looking forward to the Commonwealth Games. This will be a fantastic opportunity for us to show the world what Birmingham and the West Midlands has to offer and for us to see some amazing sporting achievements on our doorstep too! The GBSLEP will be playing its part in helping to ensure the Games are a success.

5. What made you want to move to the region, or what made you stay?

I moved to the West Midlands for work after I’d been travelling following university and made Birmingham my home a few years later. I now think of myself as an honorary Brummie! I love the diversity of the area from its people, to its food; its cultural attractions, to its retail offer; its beautiful open spaces, to its mix of historical and modern architecture. I used to love its nightlife too but with a young baby I’m now starting to appreciate all it has to offer for children!

6. What would be your “specialist subject” on Mastermind?

English and Scottish witchcraft in the 13th and 14th centuries – a fascinating subject that was the focus of my university dissertation. It’s not proved to be hugely useful in my career to date though!

7. If you were stuck in a lift with two people, who would you want them to be?

This is a tough question! Of the many people I could choose, I would go for Rosa Parks and Dame Jessica Ennis Hill. Rosa played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement in America. I’d like to talk to her about those times, her experiences and where she drew her strength, from not least when she refused to relinquish her seat on a bus in Montgomery. I really admire Jess for her amazing sporting achievements and would like to know how she stayed motivated to train in so many disciplines, and particularly how she balanced this with motherhood.

8. Describe life at the LEP in one word:

“Exciting” – I always say that there is never a dull day in LEP Land!