Major business conference is planned for Derbyshire

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) is holding a major policy conference in October to look at the significant role that manufacturing plays in supporting the East Midlands economy.

More than 100 business leaders from across the region are expected to attend the free event at the site of the world’s first factory, The Silk Mill in Derby, from 8.30am on Thursday, October 11.

Dr Will Barton, Head of Manufacturing for the Technology Strategy Board, which advises the Government on growth innovation, will deliver the keynote speech to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges from a national and global perspective.

This will be balanced with input from industry experts from across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire representing the electrical, healthcare, engineering and automotive sectors.

Speakers and panellists already confirmed include Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce; Mark Goldby, Managing Director of leading Nottingham-based OEM manufacturer SMS Electronics; and Liz Fothergill, Managing Director of Derby-based medical supplies exporter Pennine Healthcare Ltd.

There will also be a Q+A session with a panel of experts comprising local business leaders and senior representatives from the BCC, BIS Local and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

As well as celebrating the success and ongoing potential of the area’s manufacturers, all the outputs captured on the day will be used as the basis for an action plan which the Chamber will use to lobby Ministers and Whitehall departments to address the barriers to growth faced by the sector.

There will also be opportunities for local manufacturers to showcase the best of what is made in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in an exhibition area.

DNCC Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “This region has always been ahead of the national curve for manufacturing, thanks in no small part to the number of global manufacturers and their respective supply chains that are located here.

“The conference is all about showcasing the strength of local manufacturing, but also looking at ways to break down the barriers to growth to enable local manufacturers to maximise their potential and deliver the sustainable recovery and future economy, based on innovation and exports, that the Government wants.”