Over 300 business leaders join GFirst LEP at 2015 Annual Review

GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) brought together over three hundred of the county’s business leaders at its fourth Annual Review.

Focusing on the £77.5 million brought into the county through the Gloucestershire Growth Deal, Dr Diane Savory OBE DL, Chair, and David Owen, Chief Executive, took attendees on a journey of the last twelve months’ outstanding achievements brought together by the LEP, alongside its public, private and voluntary sector partners.

Diane said: “I’m hugely proud of the work and the success that the LEP and the public, private and voluntary sectors have achieved to secure over £77 million, as a result of our ambitious business plan for the county. However, we must not be complacent; the journey isn’t over and we must aspire to even greater economic growth in Gloucestershire.

The support of the business community over the past twelve months has been overwhelming. I’d like to thank the business people of Gloucestershire for their time and inspiration.”

David added: “The recent general election result means that LEPs are now firmly entrenched in the growth infrastructure of England and there will be opportunities from Government for Gloucestershire to compete for further investment. To meet that challenge, we need the ongoing support of local businesses, ensuring we secure the future investment needed to grow, and enabling our businesses to be successful on a global stage.”

Diane and David spoke to key business people including Kevin Hamblin, Principal of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, to discuss the evolution of the GREEN project; Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive of Versarien, on the impact Growth Deal funding will have in the Forest of Dean; Kevan Blackadder on the retails aims for Cheltenham; Chris Gaskell from the Royal Agricultural University regarding the exciting plans for the Agri-Tech Innovation Centre and Rob Loveday, from GE Aviation who recently joined the LEP Board to represent large employer organisations in Gloucestershire.

The Annual Review took place at the newly opened Gloucester Services Southbound – a project supported by GFirst LEP to the tune of £3 million with a loan from their infrastructure fund.


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