The Duke of Kent is to open ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ – the major economic conference which will showcase the county’s world-class business credentials.
The announcement comes as it was revealed that the landmark event has also received the backing of more than 60 blue chip companies and organisations from the area, as well as Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk.
‘Celebrate Cheshire’ – a large-scale, two-day ‘business expo’ which takes place at Chester Racecourse on September 16 and 17 - is uniting the private, public and voluntary sectors across the sub-region behind a dynamic, new approach.
The platform to showcase Cheshire’s world-class business credentials is being put together by Marketing Cheshire and Cheshire Business Leaders, with widespread backing from the county’s business community, local authorities, Cheshire and Warrington’s new Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as well as the education and voluntary sectors.
HRH the Duke of Kent will open the event on Friday September 16th after visiting the Exhibition Village, where he will be able to view the various exhibition stands presented by some of Cheshire’s most successful companies.
Speakers already confirmed for ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ include John Timpson, Chief Executive Officer of Timpson Shoes; Andrew McLaughlin, Chairman of the Regional Economic Forecasting Panel; Dr Teresa Anderson, Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and Simon Waugh, Executive Chairman of the National Apprenticeship Service.
Private sector-led, it has the backing of more than 50 locally-based blue chip companies and organisations, including M&S Money; Birchwood Park, Warrington; Bank of America; Bentley Motors; Grosvenor; Abode Hotels; Barclays; the Manufacturing Institute; Manchester Airport; Warrington Wolves Rugby League club and Pochins.
These sit alongside Mornflake and Urenco, as well as prominent figures, such as David Briggs, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Neville Chamberlain, Chairman of Cheshire Business Leaders.
Chris Brown, Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire, added: “The fact that HRH the Duke of Kent is not only opening the event but taking an active interest in the region, its businesses and our plans to drive economic growth is a fantastic endorsement.
“His involvement will help get ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ off to a fantastic start.”
Neville Chamberlain, Chairman of Cheshire Business Leaders explained: “Cheshire and Warrington’s private sector felt a major event like this was needed to showcase all Cheshire has to offer and to promote the area to a wider audience.
“We believe there is currently a lack of awareness about the type of high-tech companies operating in the Greater Cheshire Region today and the scale and quality that exists in sectors, such as manufacturing, logistics, innovation and science.
“We want investors and businesses to take a completely fresh look at the unique proposition Cheshire offers.”
Christine Gaskell, the LEP’s first chair, who is also a member of the board of Bentley Motors in Crewe, said: “The event will also give the distinct message that Cheshire and Warrington has an available and highly skilled workforce.
“Firms and organisations across the sub-region are truly leading the way in providing training and apprenticeship opportunities. Educational establishments are also creating a workforce ready to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.”
Edward Pysden, Chair of Marketing Cheshire, said: “Celebrate Cheshire will show off the best of our enterprise and business – and the attractive investment opportunities that exist here.”
Andrew Donaldson, founder of Cheshire’s BiG Storage Company and chairman of the event’s organising committee, commented: “We have brought together many of the major companies in Cheshire, alongside its innovative and hard-working SMEs, to fully support us in all ways – including backing the event financially.”
Among the issues being discussed at the event will be an ‘economic perspective for Cheshire’ and ‘apprentices are for life’.
A special business breakfast hosted by the Financial Times, will also focus specifically on the economic outlook for Cheshire, the North West and the UK as a whole.
The first day of the ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ will focus on successful businesses and enterprises in Cheshire and Warrington, while the second day will look at showcasing some of the amazing life and career opportunities that the sub-region can offer.
It is all part of Cheshire’s unprecedented step in promoting itself nationally and internationally to potential inward investors, as part of a cohesive and co-ordinated strategy.
The ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ event was highlighted at the University of Chester's superb, new, Riverside Innovation Centre during its recent Mersey Dee Alliance Innovation Network Breakfast Meeting.
Phil Southward from the ‘Celebrate Cheshire’ event management team told a packed audience of small and medium-sized businesses about the practical support offered to attendees of the event on ‘Business Friday’ – September 16.
Many businesses registered for the event as a result – taking the opportunity to attend the comprehensive seminar programme, which is completely free on the day.
Manchester City FC recognise that a significant number of fans are drawn from the Cheshire area and they would like to reward their fan-base by presenting the opportunity for fans to not only come and see the famous FA Cup, but to get their photograph taken with it too.
The club will also be represented by former captain Paul Lake and Alex Williams, who played as goalkeeper at the club for six seasons.
For more details or to register your place, please visit www.celebratecheshire.co.uk
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