06/05/2021 - Permalink

Business Leaders Breakfast reveals bright future for the Shropshire economy

Related topics: Coronavirus / Economic growth / Partner organisations

Confidence, opportunity and investment were the key messages that Shropshire businesses were able to take away from Invest in Shropshire’s Business Leaders Breakfast.

The annual business event – which could not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic – moved online this year.

It broadened its scope with speakers that included Mark Gregory, EY’s Chief Economist in the UK and Ireland, and a series of video diaries in which local businesses outlined their experiences of surviving, but also diversifying and thriving, during the challenges of 2020.

Tracy Darke, Mark Barrow and Andy Begley speak to Carl Jones

It also featured high profile speeches from Shropshire Council’s chief executive Andy Begley, executive director of place Mark Barrow; and assistant director of economy and place Tracy Darke.

After presenting a positive overview of the current UK economy, Mark Gregory described the pandemic as ‘a short-term shock’ that he believed the UK would recover from.

Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, said:

“Despite the unprecedented circumstances of the past year, from what we have heard, Shropshire and its businesses have shown their true capabilities and abilities to meet these major challenges. We have every reason to look to the future with optimism and confidence.”

Mark Barrow, Shropshire council’s executive director of place, emphasised the need for Shropshire to position itself in the ‘new economy’.

He said:

“Galvanising partnerships across the county had been key part in the response to coronavirus crisis and, with people seeking a better ‘quality of life’ going forward, improvements in connectivity and digital capability in the county mean there are tremendous opportunities for Shropshire”.

Tracy Darke, Shropshire Council’s assistant director of economic growth, outlined the £3.2m programme of support on offer.

She said:

“On top of the £150m of grant funding we have already delivered to businesses, we have accessed additional funding to kickstart a range of key recovery projects. These projects cover nine key ‘themes’ and include business support, skills and apprenticeships, sector development and infrastructure.

“We have specifically designed it to promote growth, expansion and development and to provide a positive legacy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.”

The event was streamed live, but is available to watch on demand here: http://www.investinshropshire.co.uk/business-leaders-breakfast/