Leaders and key representatives from business and business membership organisations, the public and voluntary sectors, were welcomed by Coast to Capital Chairman, John Peel, to the second meeting of Coast to Capital's Forum at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton on Thursday 8th March 2012.
Alex Williamson, the Board member leading on broadband in the Coast to Capital area, introduced Bill Murphy, Managing Director of Next Generation Access, BT Group, who gave an inspiring presentation about how businesses are already using improved broadband to expand and develop new ways of working and the ways in which these new technologies will help to support Coast to Capital's two key themes of Enterprise and International Trade.
Board member, Steve Allen's presentation on Delivering Economic Growth outlined some of the ground breaking work that's being developed to drive forward the three current strands of activity: business growth through entrepreneurship; tackling areas and groups with low levels of enterprise and young people and enterprise.
Phil Jones, Coast to Capital Board Member responsible enterprise said, "Innovation drives high growth business success. We have all the elements in the Coast to Capital area to support business innovation including entrepreneurial expertise, great universities and high quality support organisations. We need to support the development of intelligent engagement between them and to position Coast to Capital as one of the best places in the UK to start or expand or bring high growth businesses."
Roger Paterson, representing West Sussex's Rural Partnership spoke of the opportunities for partnerships to work with Coast to Capital to improve rural areas and stressed the importance the rural economy plays.
Tim Wates, Vice Chairman talked about the "place agenda" and how the Growing Places fund will be able to help to push forward infrastructure projects that have stalled.
Delegates participated in discussions about the impacts of all these areas of work on their organisations and geographical locations and the opportunities for development. Their many excellent ideas will help to shape the implementation of future work in this area.
Gary Peters, Founder of BrightonandHoveJobs.com and GatwickDiamondJobs.com said, "This has been a fantastic opportunity to see how Coast to Capital can work with other organisations to develop enterprise and boost jobs in the local economy."