Business South, an influential economic champion in the South of England held its Regenerate South 2018 Conference on 6th June at Lakeside North Harbour, Portsmouth, with headline sponsors Coffin Mew and Willmott Dixon. The event was well attended by a variety of different business representatives from across the region and provided an opportunity for these potential investors, developers, agents and consultants to meet and debate the ambitions for the future of the South Central region.
Keynote speaker, Andrew Carter, CEO Centre for Cities, and John Hanna, Managing Director, GDP Global discussed ways to effectively collaborate in order to better shape the vision of the region, as well as exploring a number of key issues. These included: how to shape an economic vision and industrial strategy through working with local authorities, LEPs and businesses, help to secure investment in key infrastructure and collaborations with universities to attract and retain the high-level skills needed to sustain growth for the region.
The final theme looked at connecting Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to demonstrate a united voice for business in the region.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet with inward investment teams across the South Central as well as the local authority decision makers, through interactive discussions and Meet the Site Owner sessions. In addition, key Local Authority speakers from Hampshire County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council took part in a panel discussion which provided interesting insights and thought-provoking conversation throughout the conference.
Tim Hancock, Chair of Regenerate South and MD of Terence O’Rourke, said: “The South of England represents one of the most significant and successful economic regions in the UK, so it’s important that we retain competitiveness and productivity into the future.
“Regenerate South believes that there is a great deal to gain from businesses, LEPs, MP’s and local councillors working together to promote the area as a whole. The event was a great platform for us to encourage more businesses to get involved with shaping the vison for the region’s future through tackling some of the key challenges we face, while showcasing our success stories that demonstrate this area as a great place to live, work and invest.”
Olly Sowton, Vice-Chair of Regenerate South added: “Businesses are not well-represented in community and government debates about the future of its regions, in contrast to the many action groups that want to limit new development. Regenerate South provided an opportunity to be informed about what’s going on in the region and share experiences with other like-minded businesses, while ensuring any emerging plans support economic growth and the needs of business expansion.”
Attendees had the opportunity to meet with local authorities, land owners and agents to develop local connections and valuable working relationships. Many attendees commented on how invaluable this opportunity was to them in building new relationships and contacts, as well as furthering others.