Grant Thornton becomes founding Strategic Partner of new Midlands-wide life sciences and med-tech sector champion

Picture left: John Foskett, Director at Grant Thornton in Birmingham with Richard Stone, Director, Medilink Midlands. Photo credit: Dave Warren/Picture Team

Business and financial adviser Grant Thornton in Birmingham has become the founding strategic partner of Medilink Midlands, a new organisation created to support and promote innovation and economic growth in the region’s life sciences and medical technology sector.

Medilink Midlands has been formed as a strategic body to support its current 250-strong membership of businesses, academic institutions and clinicians across the West and East Midlands; “The Midlands Engine.” Its key focus will include developing region-specific support programmes and initiatives, which will be delivered through the long-established Medilink West Midlands and Medilink East Midlands regional offices.

John Foskett, director at Grant Thornton in Birmingham, said: “Medilink in the West and East Midlands have built well-deserved reputations for creating effective networks in this growing sector of our economy. Overcoming barriers to growth is one of Medilink’s primary goals and this mirrors perfectly Grant Thornton’s work advising ambitious and successful businesses across the region, so the fit between our two organisations is a natural one.”

The Midlands Engine Region is home to over 1100 Life Sciences businesses, employing over 30,000 people, 19,000 of which in Medical Technology. It is home to 27 Universities, and its 7 Medical Schools train 20% of the UK’s medical professionals. There are 50 NHS Trusts in the region encompassing 130 NHS hospitals, including 14 specialist hospitals. The Midlands is also the UK’s centre for Trauma and Defence Medicine with the tri-service Royal Centre for Defence Medicine located in Birmingham, and The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre will also soon be located near Loughborough.

Richard Stone, Director, Medilink Midlands, added: “Grant Thornton’s founding strategic partnership with Medilink Midlands will benefit our members enormously. The firm’s expertise in so many business-critical disciplines will be a great asset to our new pan-regional emphasis, which aims to support our members’ economic growth and also raise awareness of the high standard of academic institutions, businesses and healthcare professionals delivering world-class products and services within our region.

“One area of Grant Thornton’s expertise which we believe will be relevant to our larger member organisations is how to maximise the Apprenticeship Levy, which employers can use to improve the skills of their staff, increase productivity and boost growth. And with recruitment and retention high on so many organisations’ agendas at the moment, this is particularly pertinent.”

Grant Thornton’s connection with the Medilink network was strengthened at the firm’s West Midlands Inquiry last year, which brought together leaders from public, private and third sector organisations to discuss how to work together effectively and help create a more vibrant regional economy.

Foskett concluded: “This emphasis on collaboration is a real focus of our work and its value is indisputable. Our Growth Research Report published earlier this year found that high growth businesses saw partnerships as their top accelerator of growth.”