Monday, April 3, 2017

News: Rotherham Pioneers hold first event


The first meeting has been held of the Rotherham Pioneers - an exclusive group for Rotherham businesses who want to promote the town, celebrate all that is good, and grow the Rotherham business community.

A major exercise was launched last month using "The Rotherham Story" as a way of promoting the borough. Businesses will act as ambassadors - so-called Rotherham Pioneers - armed with the story and an outward looking mentality. The aim is to change perceptions of Rotherham and raise its profile.

The first major theme of the Rotherham Story focuses on "Engineering Excellence" highlighting the major assets such as the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the ethos of major occupiers such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, and soon-to-be McLaren, and the new enterprises like Xeros and PES that are pioneering disruptive technologies.

The second major focus is on "Living Green" and the perception of the borough as an industrial town but one that is in fact 70% rural. It highlights the quality of life for residents and abundance of country parks, urban parks and green space that can sell the location.

The Rotherham Story culminates in "Pushing Boundaries" - being confident and raising the bar in regeneration and education.


Rotherham Pioneers will gain exclusive access to high quality networking events, will hear first-hand about new developments and will find out about business opportunities. An insight will be given into Rotherham success stories and invitations to company tours are set to follow.

Held at the global headquarters of award-winning Rotherham manufacturer, AESSEAL, the first event heard the success story of the company and its continued growth. Damien Wilson, strategic director of Regeneration & Environment at Rotherham Council provided an update on exciting inward investment projects such as Gulliver's Valley and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, whilst Andrew Clarke of WYG provided an exclusive first glance of the draft town centre masterplan, not due for release until next month.

George Buchanan, director of the Hodsock Priory Estate and chair of the North Notts Place Board discussed the journey started in North Nottinghamshire in 2013 and the success of the North Notts Envoys initiative, a precursor that the Rotherham Pioneers are looking to emulate.


Fresh from signing the deal to save Wentworth Woodhouse, Julie Kenny CBE DL concluded the event with a "call to arms," explaining that Rotherham businesses need to sign up and back the initiative financially. Founder Pioneers include AESSEAL, Pyronix, the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust and Harworth Estates, who see the value in signing up.

A place board already exists in Rotherham and the plan is to appoint a place manager to co-ordinate the efforts and put on more events and networking opportunities. It hopes to raise over £100,000 from business contributions.

Kenny said: " Pioneers will bring together the knowledge, networks and influences locally to promote Rotherham as a great place to do business. Rotherham Pioneers came about as a result of businesses wanting to give something back to Rotherham and support an improved Rotherham for all.

"Pioneers will be proactive advocates for the town and area both nationally and intertnationally, with the power to influence how it is marketed, portrayed in the media and at events; to get it known and recognised by the people that matter."

The next event is set to be held at Wentworth Woodhouse.

Rotherham Pioneers website

Images: Rotherham Pioneers


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