Business West’s first Wiltshire Business & Economy meeting brought together over 50 businesses.
We were hosted by Wiltshire College at their Lackham campus.
Tony Basham, the College’s Director of Business and Partnerships, gave a very informative summary of their exciting plans to develop a state of the art dairy milking facility at the Lackham campus site as well as teaching robotics for agriculture.
He also outlined plans to develop the College’s site in Salisbury.
With the increasing importance of work experience for students, Tony also said they were introducing industry placements in their study programmes with the aim that students will spend 50 days in a workplace during their time at the College.
Paddy Bradley, Director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), outlined the role of the LEP and talked about the importance of developing their new Industrial Strategy for the area over the next year.
He emphasised the need to develop their key assets to grow the local economy as part of the strategy and mentioned, particularly, the importance of the need to expand and invest in the Porton Down facilities.
Paddy Bradley was approached after the meeting by several companies for advice on expansion.
Tim Martienssen of Wiltshire Council said that they were working closely with the LEP to drive the local economy.
He detailed special help being made to promote business in Salisbury and to re-establish it as a key tourist destination for the UK, a year on from the attack.
The Council were also focussed on housing shortages and the need to work closely with the military to find jobs for soldiers coming back to this county from base closures abroad.
Matt Griffith, Business West’s Director of Policy, gave an overview of our ‘Trading through Brexit’ business service.
Essentially, this is an MOT for business to help them be better prepared for changes as a result of Brexit.
Ian Larrard, Director of Business West in Swindon & Wiltshire, said: “This was our first such meeting in Wiltshire, replicating the successful ones we have undertaken in Swindon over the last 18 months. There was great energy and enthusiasm in the room with considerable interest shown in all the topics covered. We look forward to making these meetings a regular bi-monthly feature in our Events calendar”.
The next Business West Wiltshire Business & Economy meeting will be on 29th May at Hartham Park.