Anna Clarke with (from left to right) Nic Erskine (Executive Director, CW Place and Champions), Les Ratcliffe, Steve Stewart

A former senior executive with Sainsbury’s has been appointed to a major role in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Anna Clarke has been made vice chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Place Board, which sits under the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and promotes the reputation of the area through a number of initiatives including the successful Champions programme.

Clarke, who lives in Kenilworth and was raised locally, spent 17 years with the supermarket giant, working for its TU clothing brand.

She rose to be head of design and innovation across women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and essentials, in more than 600 Sainsburys stores and online, including Argos. She has set up her own business and now works as a fashion retail consultant, artist and gut health specialist.


Clarke has been on the Place Board, for three and a half years and succeeds Steve Stewart who is stepping down from the role.

She said: “The profile of Coventry and Warwickshire has never been higher, and the Place Board, through Champions and other projects, has worked on a number of initiatives over the last 10 years to ensure our story is heard at all levels.

“I was invited to speak at a Champions event when I was at Tu, situated at Ansty Park and was really struck by the power of the network and how it had buy-in from right across the area and from the private and public sectors.

“I am really invested in the area. My father, a born and bred Coventrian, had a legal family practice in Coventry for many years and he was actively involved in a number of charitable and local groups.

“I have built my career from here, as well as my family life, and have a huge passion to follow in my father’s footsteps in giving back to the local community. It is an area that has so much going for it and the work of Place Board allows that to be shared to a wide audience, especially evident with the numerous City of Culture events held this year.”

The Champions network celebrates its 10th anniversary in September and regularly attracts 150 businesses to its bi-monthly meetings and has featured a range of speakers with strong local connections, ranging from Oscar winners to leading academics, and from nationally-acclaimed business figures to leading sportspeople.

The Champions: Next Generation events, showcasing young talent and business entrepreneurs from across the area, was successfully launched in 2019.

The Place Board is chaired by former Jaguar Land Rover executive Les Ratcliffe who is a Deputy Lieutenant of Warwickshire.

He said: “Steve has done a sterling job and really helped to build the Place Board. We have taken the Coventry and Warwickshire story to London and to Birmingham, launched our Next Generation programme, and expanded representation on the board.

“Anna has a fantastic background at the top of her field, and is highly invested in the area and its success. She has made a real impact since joining the board and I know that she will continue to drive our activities forward as we celebrate out 10th anniversary.”