About Beverley Nielsen

Beverley-sitting-web.jpg

MIDLANDS BUSINESS LEADER

Beverley, a ‘Malvern Girl’ educated locally, has spent most of her career in the West Midlands – in campaigning, business and education. She was the first female director of publicly quoted business, AGA Rangemaster plc, later becoming MD of its subsidiary, Fired Earth. 

Beverley promoted our hard-working businesses whilst at the CBI for over a decade, and was awarded Midlands Business Woman of the Year.

SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE

At Birmingham City University she works as Associate Professor and Director at her IDEAS Institute - the Institute for Design, Economic Acceleration & Sustainability. Her work has been with students and staff helping them to launch and grow over 45 new start-ups. She continues to link universities into business, helping young people take practical steps to achieve their dreams.

PUBLICATIONS

Through her work at Birmingham City University’s think tank, IDEAS, Beverley has co-edited two books including English Regions After Brexit with Dr Steve McCabe and Brexit Negotiations After Article 50 with Professor Alex de Ruyter. She has also co-written Redesigning Manufacturing with economist, Vicky Pryce and Professor Michael Beverland. She is currently co-editing books on the Green Economy and Green Manufacturing with Dr Steve McCabe, with the first of these due to be published by Bite-Sized Books in July 2021.

LOCAL CHAMPION

As a Councillor on Malvern Hills District Council Beverley held the Economic Development Portfolio. She worked to actively promote our high streets, small, family-owned, rural, and high-tech businesses specialising in 5G, cyber and connectivity. 

Beverley used her business experience to ensure Malvern Hills Outdoor Education Centre, formerly part of the County Council, did not close as threatened. Instead, she helped set up a community business, Boundless Outdoors, which has since trebled in size with 10,000 young people visiting each year. 

POLITICAL CAREER

Beverley Nielsen was a County Councillor representing Malvern Trinity for the Liberal Democrats between 2009-2013, later becoming a Liberal Democrat councillor on Malvern Hills District Council in 2019. She was the Liberal Democrat candidate for West Worcestershire in the 2019 general election, finishing second with 10,410 votes (18.1%) with an 8.7% swing in her favour.

She was selected in 2016 and 2020 as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Mayor of West Midlands but resigned from the party along with four other councillors in August of 2020 over a split on the Malvern Hills District Council.

She stood and was successfully elected to Worcestershire County Council as an Independent Councillor for Malvern Langland in May 2021 with a 24.46% swing and sits as part of the Green and Independent Alliance Group (GAIA Group). In 2020 she was appointed Climate Tsar for Liam Byrne MP's West Midlands Mayoral campaign in 2021.

CAMPAIGNS

In December 2020 Warwickshire College Group announced their intention to close Malvern Hills College. A Save our Students (SOS) task force was formed by Cllr Tom Wells and chaired by Nielsen, raising over £1m, linking together with campaigning by students promoting Save Malvern Hills College website, a Change.org petition and a Postcard Protest. An offer has since been made for Malvern Hills College by a newly established company, Malvern Hills Arts & Community College, with negotiations ongoing.

It is hoped that the Save Our Students (SOS) Task Force can report back in July with negotiations underway since May. Every effort is being made by the team to get this deal over the line, to preserve and grow this wonderful asset for our community and, if we are successful, a much wider course offer is planned.