Wednesday, June 25, 2014

News: Growth Plan comes under scrutiny

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The third Sheffield City Region Conference for Growth will take place at EIS Sheffield on July 3 to discuss the Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP's) Growth Plan.

Toby Perkins, Labour's MP for Chesterfield and Shadow Business Minister, will be the guest speaker at the event, where more than 250 people are expected to attend.

The conference has been running since 2012 and is organised by all four of the Sheffield City Region's Chambers of Commerce. This year Sheffield Chamber of Commerce is taking a lead on proceedings, after previously being arranged by Doncaster Chamber and Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber.

Key speakers will include Sheffield Chamber president Stephen Williams, Richard Spacey of Vestra Wealth and economist Justin Urquhart-Stewart.

Also, Julie Kenny CBE, chairman and chief executive of award-winning Rotherham manufacturer, Pyronix, will lead a panel of four business leaders to discuss how and whether the LEP's Growth Plan will deliver its objectives for the city region.

Others on the panel include Dave Sheridan, chief executive of Keepmoat, Chris Sprenger from Highfield ABC and Brian Reece of Sheffield Precision Medical.

The overall vision for the Growth Plan, which has set an ambitious target of creating 70,000 new jobs in the region by 2023, is for "a City Region with a stronger and bigger private sector that can compete in national and global markets."

The LEP's plan asks Government for millions of pounds in funding for infrastructure and transport projects; a wider skills programme; a Growth Hub which will offer intensive business support; and ambitious investment to accelerate house building.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: "Businesses often say they don't really understand what the Growth Plan is and how it will be delivered. We also a need to get external views of the plan and this year's conference will do both of those.

"A common comment is that the Growth Plan does not contain the transformational projects that will step change our economy. But are we a good place to invest when looked at from outside? Hopefully Richard and Justin will be able to give some excellent insight into the reality of the situation."

Entry into Conference for Growth will be £25 + VAT per person for Chamber members and £35 + VAT per person for non-members. Registration will start at 8am for breakfast, with the event running from 9am until 1pm. To register visit the chamber website.

Images: Sheffield City Region LEP

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