Craig Cooper has been announced as Birmingham City Council’s new permanent Strategic Director of City Operations.
The appointment marks a return to the city for Craig, who spearheaded the council’s role in the hugely successful Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, for which he was the authority’s Programme Director.
The Games were an amazing success for the city, with over five million visitors attracted to Birmingham during the unforgettable fortnight of the event, which projected the city to a global media audience, kickstarted an investment programme worth £700million+ for northwest Birmingham and acted as the launchpad for a Golden Decade of Opportunity.
In his new role, Craig will lead the City Operations team and provide residents with services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including:
- Public protection and licensing
- Highways and parking
- Waste services
- Community safety and criminal justice
- Coroners and registration services
- Parks, culture, sport, and leisure services
- Events and community engagement and participation, including business improvement and ward forums.
Prior to his first spell in the city, Craig had a strong track record in executive leadership, delivering high-impact change and transformation strategies for public and private sector organisations on major projects with multi-stakeholder involvement.
Commenting on his City Operations appointment, Craig said: “As someone born in Birmingham, it was a privilege and honour to play a role in the Commonwealth Games – the moment people will reflect upon as when the city changed for the better.
“As Programme Director, I experienced how passionate the employees of the council are to deliver great services for the city’s people – who deserve the very best standards from us.
“That’s why when this opportunity came up, I had to seize it. I look forward to reacquainting myself with many of the teams and departments that helped make the Games the success they were – together we can capture the same collaborative spirit to improve the lives of people in all parts of Birmingham.”
Craig is set to start work with the city council on 17 April.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “When he first joined the council ahead of the Commonwealth Games, I said Craig was someone with a first-rate record on project leadership and he more than proved his credentials last summer, so we were delighted when he expressed an interest in returning to Birmingham.
“Through the build-up and successful delivery of the Games, Craig achieved some challenging goals, working with colleagues right across the council as well collaborating with regional, national, and international partners. It is this record of success that means I know we have the right person to take this directorate forward in the months and years to come.”