Birmingham Commonwealth Association

Birmingham Commonwealth Association

Who are we?

RCS logoWe:

  • work in local partnership  with organisations, businesses and communities to promote Birmingham
  • strengthen international partnerships, capitalising on the opportunities the Commonwealth offers
  • promote trade and investment
  • encourage engaged and cohesive communities
  • facilitate academic outcomes regarding partnerships


Our corporate structure

The Birmingham Commonwealth Association comprises a wide ranging group of people from businesses, government, universities, colleges and communities who wish to collaborate, engage and co-operate with each other and third parties to deliver Commonwealth related outcomes for both their, your and Greater Birmingham’s benefit. The Association aims to be the prime facilitator of Commonwealth related opportunities in the West Midlands. This is achieved partially at a corporate level but more substantially through the activities of our three Focus Groups (FGs) covering Trade and Business, Education and Communities. Each FG has its own Chairman, its own objectives, measured and reviewed by the FG’s board from year to year motivated to achieve worthwhile outcomes.

The Association formally functions through a not for profit company limited by guarantee having a board of three Directors comprising the Associations Chairman, Keith Stokes-Smith, the Chairmen of its Trade and Business FG, Martin Levermore MBE, the Chairman of its  Communities FG, Wade Lyn CBE, and the Chairman of its education FG, professor Louise Torrer. The Association is also a branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS). The Association is required to act within its corporate remit/articles of association as well as the requirements that come with RCS membership. However, it is the FG’s which, on a day to day basis, pursue the Association’s objectives and which act in partnership, or engage or collaborate with others to achieve Commonwealth related outcomes consistent with those objectives.


Our connections

  • Partnered with Johannesburg, South Africa through Birmingham City Council
  • Member of Commonwealth Local Government Forum providing access to 52 Commonwealth countries’ government ministries through Birmingham City Council


Our Chair

We are chaired by Keith Stokes–Smith FCIS, ACMA, a Magistrate, President of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association, and the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce


Benefits of working with us

Our networks include:

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Commonwealth High Commissions in London and beyond
  • Commonwealth Business Women’s Network
  • Department for International Trade
  • Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Community Groups in Greater Birmingham
  • Academic Institutions in Birmingham
  • Birmingham Consular Association
  • Local Commonwealth Diplomats
  • Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council
  • The Phoenix Newspaper
  • Birmingham City Council International Team
  • Royal Commonwealth Society and its Commonwealth wide branches



Corporate Activities:

Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations, currently comprising 53 countries, held on the second Monday in March. The day is an opportunity for individuals, communities, businesses and organisations to promote the values and principles shared by the Commonwealth and to celebrate the Association’s rich diversity.

The BCA marks the day by organising a networking dinner open to all the BCA’s database of members, businesses, academic institutions, community groups and broader network. The dinner is also attended by the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham as well as invited guests.

Patron of the BCA:

Ruth Lea, CBE, Economic Adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group

BCA strategic partners:






Contact us:

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Supported by Birmingham City Council
The BCA is a branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society
Birmingham Commonwealth Association Ltd, Registered in England and Wales, Co No. 9959637
Reg office: Wick Episcopi, Upper Wick, Rushwick, Worcestershire, WR2 5SY

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