CBI business forum meets at Lafarge HQ

Midlands business leaders met at the head office of building materials firm Lafarge to discuss the future of the region’s economy.

The event, hosted by Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK at its Syston base in Leicestershire, was organised by the CBI as part of its Rebalancing the Economy project.

The project aims to garner thought and opinion from regional business chiefs on the state of their area’s economy and how government policy can best promote growth.

Once all regions have taken part in project meetings, the CBI will compile a report forming the basis of its approach in influencing government policy to help maximise private sector growth potential across England.

Lucy Haynes, regional director for the CBI in the East Midlands said:

“Our regional SWOT events allow us to capitalise on the significant expertise and experience of our UK-wide membership in forming our narrative on how we can improve the growth potential of all the UK’s regions and draw policy conclusions that can inform Government”.

A key part of the discussions focussed on how growth could be promoted in both the East & West Midlands regions through strong local governance structures and smart investment of public money.

Current figures, from the National Infrastructure Plan show that Infrastructure spend in the East Midlands is planned to be only £424 per head of population, and £920 in the West Midlands, versus, £4,012 in London.

Phil Cox, regional business manager for Lafarge’s Aggregates business in the Midlands and North, who hosted the event, said:

“We hope to get a detailed understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each region and the opportunities and threats for private sector growth ahead, so that we can call on the government to target policy where it will be most effective.  The region has good transport infrastructure, a skilled workforce especially in manufacturing and engineering and we want to see the Government recognising this positives and working with the region to make the most of this positive attributes.”