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Great South West Regional Roadshow series kicks off with Devon business leaders backing strong role for region on national stage

Business leaders and regional stakeholders convened at the Devon Regional Roadshow to discuss economic priorities and making the case on the national stage.

The Great South West Pan-Regional Partnership launched its series of Regional Roadshows with an event in Paignton on 12 June, in partnership with the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

Local business leaders had the opportunity to identify the key issues which need to be advanced with the incoming Government following the General Election on 4 July.

Business leaders and senior stakeholders from local councils, education, and housing came together to discuss the area’s specific needs and opportunities. The event featured a panel discussion facilitated by Craig Moore, Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson LLP, with key business and community leaders including Karen Friendship, Managing Director at Alderman Tooling and Chair of the Plymouth Manufacturing Group; Jemma Broadstock, Founder of The Ultimate CEO; David Thomas, Leader of Torbay Council; and Andrew Robertson, Chief Technology Officer at Bay Photonics.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Great South West Partnership and Chair of Yeo Valley, spoke at the event, explaining to attendees that the strengths of the region in energy, food security, defence and advanced manufacturing meant that the time was now for the South West to play a leadership role in the UK economy, and forge a new working relationship with an incoming Government.

Karl commented: “It was a pleasure to have such a range of senior leaders, from business to civic leaders, present at our first Regional Roadshow.

“The session introduced the Great South West to stakeholders in Devon, explaining our aims to drive the region’s economy. There were interesting questions raised, particularly around developing our future workforce and how investment can drive social mobility for young people across our coastal, rural
and urban settings”

Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said:

“The Great South West’s Regional Roadshows are a unique opportunity for local business leaders to elevate their voices and interests to the national stage.

“This initiative marked a significant step in driving economic growth and fostering collaboration across the South West. By bringing together senior business figures, investors, and local authorities, the Devon Regional Roadshow highlighted the dynamic potential of our region.

“We’re excited to begin the series here in Devon, with the event providing a platform to promote the talent, natural assets and innovation our region has to offer. These Roadshows are designed with each of the Chambers of Commerce in the region to find a unified voice in business, so that Westminster is in no doubt about what the South West requires to truly fulfil its potential.”

The next Regional Roadshow will be in Dorset at Bournemouth University on 16 July, in partnership with Dorset Chamber, with subsequent events planned in Somerset and Cornwall later this year. Each Roadshow is tailored to address the unique challenges and opportunities within its respective area.
Register for the Dorset Regional Roadshow here.