Former Leader of the Birmingham City Council joins Cavendish

Written by

Emma Hughes


Cavendish has appointed the former Leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward as a Strategic Advisor to our portfolio of clients.  

With nearly thirty years’ experience of local government and the public sector, Ian served as both Labour Leader and Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council between 2012 and 2023. He was instrumental in successfully leading Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and as a key member of the Organising Committee played a pivotal role in the most successful Commonwealth Games held in the UK. The Games delivered infrastructure investment of nearly £1bn and transformed Perry Barr in the north of the city. 

As Council Leader, Ian shaped the planning and economic development of the city, attracting inward investment and transforming the City Centre. He oversaw the production of the Birmingham Development Plan and the recent Our Future City Plan, arguably the most important strategy written about Birmingham for over a century. The plan will shape the development and growth of the city for years to come, providing a route map to a cleaner, greener city. Through these plans Birmingham is a city being re-invented and the pace of change is creating thousands of jobs and higher quality, energy efficient new homes.  

Ian also served as a Lead Member on the West Midlands Combined Authority giving him a key role in the development of this critically important devolved body.  

As part of his role, Ian will provide important awareness into regional public affairs. He will be engaging with senior stakeholders across our client portfolio on local priorities, issues and visions.  

Commenting on his appointment, Ian said:  

“As the market leader in regional public affairs, I’m excited to be joining Cavendish to support them in promoting the important causes from across their impressive client portfolio. During my time as Leader of Birmingham City Council, I’m proud to have helped promote the City as a thriving place for economic growth. There is now great opportunity to take this experience and provide my insight of the City to Cavendish’s regional clients who are looking to make a positive impact on the area.”  

Adam Farrell, Director at Cavendish said:

“We are delighted to welcome Ian on board who is a significant addition to our Birmingham team as we grow our expertise and presence across the region. 

“Ian is a highly respected and well-connected leader with unrivalled experience of local government and the public sector. Through sport, transport and economic development Ian has positioned the city at the cutting edge nationally and placed Birmingham on a global platform. With this impressive track record, we can’t think of anyone better placed to advise our existing and future clients as we navigate the evolving landscape of Birmingham and beyond.”  

Our latest Midlands Matters podcast episode with Ian Ward

Martha Jennings and Jonny Hodges are back for the new season of the Cavendish Talks Midlands Matters series.

And kicking off the series, we’re pleased to welcome Ian Ward to chat about his career, local government and devolution. Watch the podcast below or listen to it over on Spotify here.


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