Another Major Conference at the Cooper Associates County Ground

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The Cooper Associates County Ground played host to over 300 delegates from across the region recently when the Heart of the South West LEP held its conference and annual general meeting at the home of Somerset County Cricket Club.

Taunton MP Rebecca Pow opened the conference with a focus on how important it is that the South West play’s its role in contributing to the UK’s wealth in the face of ever-changing political and economic environment.

Rebecca Pow

LEP Chair Steve Hindley then gave an overview on the progress of the LEP since it first started bidding for funding whilst Chief Executive Chris Garcia ran through the LEP’s achievements this year.

In the afternoon session, the Growth Hub hosted workshops on key topics for businesses including General Data Protection Regulation, exporting, finance, digital and productivity.

Delegates included business leaders, public, education and third sector representatives and MPs.

The LEP holds regular forums that are open to businesses throughout the area to attend throughout the year, and conducts surveys and consultations on specific and general economic issues along with its partners.

The annual conference and AGM was a snapshot of the work that is underway throughout the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Following the event Somerset CCC Head of Commercial Sales Sam McIntyre said: “We were delighted to host the South West LEP conference and AGM. It is extremely satisfying to be able to successfully stage such large and prestigious events. We pride ourselves on being able to deliver everything that our clients require, from small intimate functions to large conferences such as this. The success of this event is a real testament to our team.”

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Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley CBE DL, said: “Here in the Heart of the South West, we already have a bigger economy than Birmingham and the potential to grow at a faster rate than the UK average. Increasingly there’s a critical mass of success factors that are converging to make the south west a prime business location.

“We’re operating in a fast-moving political and economic environment, with many unknowns on the horizon – which could present many opportunities if we’re swift off the mark to harness them. There are also potential risks in a changing landscape that we may need to mitigate and manage.

“It’s more important now than ever that we work together as business leaders, local authorities, education establishments, social enterprises, politicians and communities as a common voice to champion our area.”

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