Tracy Westall has been appointed as the new Chair of digital connectivity and innovation company WM5G Limited following the completion of Mark Stansfeld’s highly successful two-term tenure.

A Non-Executive Director (NED) at the Department for Transport, Chair of Curium Solutions and former NED for TechUK, Tracy joined WM5G’s Board in September 2019 – a position she has used to champion the benefits of technology for people and businesses across the West Midlands.

Under Mark Stansfeld’s leadership, WM5G has exceeded its targets as the UK’s largest 5G testbed: achieving the best 5G coverage of any region outside of London; delivering over £200m GVA of benefits through pioneering trials in key sectors including health, manufacturing and transport; as well as helping over 700 SMEs accelerate their adoption of 5G.

In addition, over the last two years, WM5G has successfully transitioned into a commercial entity, securing over £20m of additional funding to accelerate the economic and social benefits of 5G, Internet of Things and data/AI through pioneering programmes, including the UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN), 5G Innovation Regions (5GIR) and the Levelling Up Smart City Region programme. It is now working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority and partners across the region to realise the benefits of digital technologies for the whole community, supporting digital adoption across areas from health and care, to social housing and manufacturing.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority region, said: “I’d like thank Mark for his outstanding work leading WM5G as Chair over the last four years. As co-founder and former chairman of Giffgaff, his significant commercial experience and understanding of the telecommunications sector, as well as his relationships throughout the West Midlands, have been key to helping us achieve our goals, putting the region at the forefront of 5G rollout, innovation and adoption. The board and the team will miss Mark greatly and would like to thank him for his leadership.

“I’d also like to congratulate Tracy on her appointment. Tracy is recognised as one of the most influential women in the UK technology sector and brings a perfect combination of industry expertise and local understanding to the role. Her advice and contributions to our operations as a NED have been invaluable over the last few years and I am delighted she has accepted this new position.”

Mark Stansfeld, said: “It’s been a pleasure Chairing WM5G over the last four years during which time we’ve taken the business from a start-up with some challenging targets to a credible scale-up business with a leading position accelerating connectivity, innovation and adoption. It’s always difficult stepping down from a company that’s making a difference but after two successful terms it’s the right thing to do and I’d like to congratulate Tracy on her appointment.”

Tracy Westall, added: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as Chair of WM5G Limited. As a director since 2019 I’ve seen the company go from strength to strength under Mark’s leadership. Looking ahead the business faces important opportunities and challenges to scale the benefits of connectivity to everyone in the region, to accelerate the business benefit from adoption and to transform health & care. I’m excited to be working further with the Board, team and our shareholder, the WMCA, to continue and extend WM5G’s success.”