East Midlands Chamber

Derbyshire delegation heads to China

A delegation from Derby and Derbyshire is attending The World Manufacturing Convention this week in Hefei, China - a significant national-level event (20-23 September) at which the UK is the first ever Country of Honour and over 100,000 delegates will visit each day.

The theme of the Convention is 'Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity -Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing', and covers not only manufacturing and engineering but also the support services needed for a business to thrive in China.

Derby and Derbyshire will be featured on the UK stand at the Convention, and Bondholders Derby City Council, the University of Derby, East Midlands Chamber and Bloc Digital will be in attendance alongside Marketing Derby, Derbyshire County Council and other local businesses.

Held in Derby's twin city, Hefei in Anhui Province, which is twinned with the county of Derbyshire, the Convention offers a unique platform for businesses and civic partners.

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin says "The World Manufacturing Convention offers Derby and Derbyshire a significant platform to showcase itself as the UK Capital for Innovation, with some of our best businesses taking the stand to explore opportunities in China. The sheer scale of the event will be eye-opening and we expect to make some useful new contacts and further existing relationships on the mission."

UK Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strateg, and a sizeable senior business delegation is attending the event which expects over 100,000 visitors each day over 4 days, 4000+ participants and 400-plus exhibiting companies.

The Convention will feature 19 forums and panel discussions to explore the future development of industry in areas such as smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and integrated circuit smart homes.

To foster deeper international cooperation during the Convention, the organising committee will hold a number of match-making events. In 2018, this led to over 430 signed projects in sectors such as digital information, new energy, automobiles and biomedical engineering, among other with a total value of $70 billion (dollars) in new investment raised.

Marketing Derby will be hosting its first Embassy event in China following the Convention with more news on this in an eshot next week.

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Bondholders win with Chamber

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Several Bondholders were amongst the winners at the 2019 awards night of fellow Bondholder East Midlands Chamber on Friday.

The awards are amongst the largest and most prestigious in the region, bringing together businesses from across Derbyshire to celebrate and promote the outstanding work undertaken by our business community.

Our Bondholders made us proud being shortlisted for many of the awards. Bondholder winners at the gala dinner held at Pride Park Stadium were: Bloc Digital; RDS Global; The Roundhouse; and Sky Recruitment Solutions.

Bondholder Bloc Digital took home the coveted Business of the Year award, but, ever the professionals, the team celebrated by heading back to the office to hit a deadline!

Details of how our Bondholders fared in the awards are given below:

Business of the Year
Winner: Bloc Digital

Business Improvement through Technology
Winner: Bloc Digital
Finalists: Bowmer & Kirkland and Scenariio

Community Impact Award
Winner: RDS Global
Finalists: Purpose Media and LoatesHR

Business Venue of the Year
Winner: The Roundhouse
Finalist: Devonshire Dome, University of Derby and The Derby Conference Centre

Commitment to People Development
Finalists: Air IT and Talk Staff

Entrepreneur of the Year
Finalist: Amanda Strong of Mercia Image Print and Simon Rice of HSG UK

Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Autumn Parkinson, Sky Recruitment Solutions
Finalist: Jess Frearson, Future Proof Films

Excellence in Customer Service
Finalists: Air IT, Anoki, Purpose Media

Small Business of the Year
Finalists: Rhodes Wealth Management and Timms Solicitors

Manufacturer of the Year
Finalist: Work Wallet

 

Inspiring the future

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is backing a new initiative to connect primary schoolchildren across Derby with local employers, to help introduce them to the world of work.

Our Future – Derby is a new project funded by Bondholder Derby City Council, which supports the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area Programme, led by Bondholder the University of Derby's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kath Mitchell.

The Chamber is calling on its member businesses to lend their support to the project by volunteering to engage with primary schools and help raise their pupils’ aspirations.

It is hoped that engaging local employers will help to open children’s eyes to their future career possibilities and develop their employability skills. It will also encourage parents to raise their children’s aspirations and support teachers in linking classroom learning with the needs of the local labour market.

In addition, the project will spark conversations at a range of events across the city to help broaden horizons, raise aspirations, and open up a world of greater opportunities to the children, their families, and their teachers.

The Chamber is delivering the project on behalf of the City Council, with its partners Learn by Design, Forum Talent Potential and DMH Associates.

Pieter Eksteen, the Chamber’s Education and Business Partnerships Manager, said: “Our Future - Derby is an innovative programme which aims to inspire children and help them see the link between their education and the world of work from an early age.

“Research shows children’s aspirations are often shaped, moulded, and restricted by gender stereotyping, socio-economic background and the people they meet in their local area. We believe that collaboration between schools, families and businesses will help children to gain a better understanding of world of work, the opportunities that are out there and how they can make the most of them.”

By becoming an Inspiring The Future volunteer, you can help inspire young people to think about what is possible in their futures. Whether you’re a CEO or an apprentice, you’ll be amazed at how inspiring your story can be.

Your commitment can be as much, or as little, as you can offer, from giving up just one hour a year to share your career journey with young people in a school, to becoming a school governor.

Sign up today and start inspiring children in your community by showing them a future they can aspire to.



Opportunities in China

Are you interested in selling your products or services to China or looking for a way to assess the market? Bondholders Derby City Council and East Midlands Chamber are taking a mission to the World Manufacturing Convention in Derby's twin city, Hefei, China (20-23 September).

Run in partnership with Derbyshire County Council, the Midlands Engine and the Department for International Trade, the mission offers an ideal platform to explore opportunities in China or just assess the market.

This is a significant national level event in China and the UK’s position as the “Country of Honour” will be leveraged to maximise business matching.

Marketing Derby will be hosting its first Chinese Embassy event in Hefei during the visit.

The theme of the convention is “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing”, and it covers not only manufacturing and engineering, but also the support services needed for a business to thrive (industrial, environmental, financial, technical etc).

It will offer:
- Free entry to The World Manufacturing Convention;
- Personalised and pre-arranged business matching with companies in Anhui and at the Convention;
- Before the mission, an introduction programme on the business environment and on operating in China delivered by the China–Britain Business Council (CBBC);
- Grants for qualifying SMEs of up to £940;
- Specific UK business events to showcase our skills, talents and offering.

Derby City and Derbyshire County Councils have a long and close relationship with the province of Anhui and the city of Hefei, with a project director based there. These close relationships will be of real benefit to Derbyshire businesses in preparing for the convention.

If you are interested in following up this opportunity, please contact the Department of International Trade West Midlands at: info@tradewm.co.uk

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City Links with India

Bondholders, Derby City Council and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce have signed a memorandum of understanding with India Chamber of Commerce Kolkata.

The aim of the partnership is to promote and foster trade and multilateral relations between Derby and Kolkata.

Derby has already established a strong link with Hefiei in China in the past couple of years and it is hoped that the link with India will prove as successful.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Government said: "We are committed to exploring the opportunities a partnership brings, opening doors to joint business ventures and inward investment, creating opportunities in education, culture and tourism ad also creating lasting friendships." 

David Pearson, Director of Partnerships and Membership Services, East Midlands Chamber, said: "East Midlands Chamber, in conjunction with Derby City Council, was delighted to sign an agreement with the Indian Chamber of Commerce which paves the way for an increased flow of international trade between our region and Kolkata and the West Bengal region of India."

Any businesses interested in developing trade links with Kolkata in India, please contact Pratibha Hindocha, email: pratibha.hindocha@derby.gov.uk by 3rd April 2018.

Derby in Times of India

Yesterday, Derby featured in the Times of India, the country's largest English language newspaper with 2.1million copies sold daily. 

This follows a Derby City Council hosted visit by a delegation of Kolkata-based business investors. Meetings were held with Bondholders East Midlands Chamber, the University of Derby and Marketing Derby, as well as a visit to Bondholder Derby Manufacturing UTC.

Derby City Councillor, Baggy Shankar, who hosted the delegation commented: “We are committed to opening the doors to joint business investors and inward investment.”

The article outlines the city as a hub for rail, aerospace and automotive industries as well as the home of Lara Croft. It describes the similarities between the two cities, in terms of industrial heritage but that Derby’s hi-tech economy puts it a decade ahead of Kolkata.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Derby City Council and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, committing the parties to deepening trade, investment and cultural arrangements.

John Forkin, MD of Marketing Derby, who presented to the delegation, commented:

“Following the links already made with China it seems logical to extend Derby’s reach into India. We hope this can contribute to jobs and investment and Hefei and Kolkata are perfect partners in making this happen."

Chamber to Deliver Brexit Message to Parliament

As part of its campaign to make sure the needs of business drive the UK’s Brexit negotiations, Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is leading a delegation to deliver the message to the heart of Parliament.

Businesses from across the region, including Bondholder Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, will be joining the Chamber at Westminster for a round-table discussion with MPs to talk about their fears for trading post-Brexit.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “We’re 17 months on from the Brexit vote, eight months on from Mrs May invoking Article 50 to trigger the UK’s exit from the EU and with just 16 months left before we hit the two-year deadline to secure a deal absolutely nothing has been agreed.

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“The EU wants to talk only about how much money the UK will pay. The UK wants to talk about trade agreements, citizens’ rights, the customs union and other important things and is looking at potential trade deals with non-EU countries.

“Business wants guidance on what trading conditions will be like after 29 March 2019, whether they will still be able to supply EU countries without being hit by World Trade Organisation-prescribed tariffs and whether they’ll still be able to buy raw materials from EU sources tariff-free.

“They need to know whether the EU’s negative stance is going to lead to them being chucked out of EU-based firms’ supply chains or whether they will need to establish new supply chains for their own manufacturing processes and whether they will still be able to ship goods freely through the customs union.

“It’s essential that our MPs get behind business and help them deliver this message to the Ministers trying to secure future trade agreements with the EU, or at the very least a transition period to allow final negotiations to continue beyond next March.”

New President for Chamber

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber has announced Robert Mayo as its President for 2017/18.

He received the chains of office from outgoing President Geoff Poyzer at the Chamber’s annual general meeting.

As well as being a Director at East Midlands Chamber, Robert is Chair of the D2N2 Rural Reference Group.

Robert said: "I would like to extend my personal thanks to Geoff Poyzer, my predecessor, for choosing me as his deputy for the past year and for all his hard work during his 12 months in office.

"I promise to uphold the dignity of this office and to be the best ambassador that I can be for the Chamber, for the region and for business generally.”

Kevin Harris, a partner at international audit, tax and consultancy firm RSM, has been appointed as Vice-President for the year.

State of the Economy Conference 2017

 

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is hosting its annual State of the Economy Conference at fellow Bondholder Rolls-Royce next month. 

Bringing together business leaders from across the East Midlands, this is the only conference that focuses on the economic performance and prospects for the region.

Through a series of keynote speakers and expert panels, the conference will examine the latest research and projections for the regional and national economy following the UK's landmark decision to leave the European Union.

Speakers include:

For more information, or to book your place, please click here

Chamber Celebrates Derbyshire Businesses

The Derbyshire Business Awards 2017, hosted by Bondholder East Midlands Chamber, took place last week at fellow Bondholder Derbyshire County Cricket Club's 3aaa County Ground, and a number of Bondholders walked away with top accolades. 

The awards recognise businesses across Derbyshire which have pioneered new concepts and innovation, excelled in commercial enterprise or distinguished themselves with their attitude to workforce development.

Bondholder winners include Purpose Media, Talk Staff Group, Hodgkinson Builders, Derby Museums Trust, Frame Fast UK and Chevin Fleet Solutions

Marketing company Purpose Media scooped the Marketing Campaign of the Year award. 

Matt Wheatcroft, Managing Director of Purpose Media, said: “This award win is really special to us. We’ve won several awards over the years in recognition of our business performance, but to get another award which recognises our strengths in marketing – after being named as the Derby Telegraph’s Creative Business of the Year, in June – is fantastic."

New Bondholder Talk Staff Group was awarded Commitment to People Development award. 

David Orange, Sales and Marketing Director at Talk Staff Group, said: “We are delighted to win this award, not only recognising our success but having worked with our teams on their own individual success too. This is an opportunity for them to celebrate with us.”

Zachary Beer from Bondholder Hodgkinson Builders was awarded Apprentice of the Year. 

Derby Museum Trust's Director of Resources, Mohammed Suleman walked away with the Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

Mohammed said: “It’s an absolute honour to have even been shortlisted. There were some great entrepreneurs in the draw and to win it was not only a shock but also absolutely overwhelming.

Even though my name is on the trophy, this award is for everyone involved with Derby Museums. It’s for all of us, because without them it would not be possible for me to win this. I want to thank the judges and the Chamber for providing me with such an amazing opportunity.”

Manufacturer of the Year was awarded to Bondholder Frame Fast UK.

Bondholder Chevin Fleet Solutions was awarded two accolades at the ceremony. Not only did the firm win the Excellence in International Trade award, but they also walked away with the Business of the Year award. 

Ashley Sowerby, Managing Director of Chevin Fleet Solutions, said: "I was delighted to receive this award on behalf of the whole team at Chevin. We were honoured to have been chosen, bearing in mind the quality of the businesses represented at the awards.

"I would like to thank all of the those who have supported the journey so far, in particular my wife Tracey who has been at my side since we set out 27 years ago."

Chambers Calls for Midland Main Line Rethink

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is urging Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to reconsider his decision not to electrify the Midland railway.

The Chamber is demanding a meeting with Mr Grayling to persuade him that he is wrong not to proceed with the £1bn project.

In a letter to the Secretary of State, copied to local MPs including the newly appointed Chair of the Transport Select Committee Lilian Greenwood, Labour member for Nottingham South, the Chamber said: “We are not convinced that the switch to bi-mode trains will result in the same level of improvements that electrification would bring.”

It adds: “We believe that a golden opportunity to enhance growth – for a modest investment against comparable projects – is being missed.”

Many local authorities across the East Midlands are believed to be petitioning Mr Grayling over what is being seen as a snub to the region, especially as just days after announcing that electrification of Midland main Line would stop at Kettering to save £1bn the Government announced £30bn for a second Crossrail project.

In its letter, the Chamber, which has previously accused Mr Grayling of a London-centric focus for railways, said: “The East Midlands represents the spine of UK manufacturing and engineering and we pride ourselves on being world-leaders in making and moving products.

“Over recent months the region has grown at a rate that outstrips other parts of the UK. Our own economic work, shows us that our manufacturing members in particular have been on the front foot in investing in the development of new opportunities both at home and abroad.

“It is these businesses that will lead the delivery of a successful UK economy outside of the EU, however, they need to be supported by the best possible infrastructure to move the goods and people that their growth demands.

“For this reason, the Chamber – the biggest business-representation organisation in the Midlands - and its members were extremely disappointed at the announcement that the investment in electrification for the Midland Main Line has been cancelled.”

The Midland Main Line carries over 13 million passengers a year, connecting four of the largest cities – Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield – to each other and to London.

Passenger numbers have increased by 130% over the past 15 years, with a further 30% rise expected over the next ten years. However, the region has suffered from continued under-investment in transport spend when compared to other parts of the UK, and as a result has the slowest inter-city line in the UK.

Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “At a time of external uncertainties, the right investment gives confidence to businesses planning for the longer-term. Electrification of the Midland Main Line railway provides that opportunity. We need a meeting with Mr Grayling to better understand the reasons behind the decision and the options to progress the agenda from here.”

Expansion for Sky Recruitment

Bondholder Sky Recruitment Solutions has appointed Natalie Parkinson as the company's first Business Manager. 

The appointment comes hot on the heels of Sky's recent expansion; within the last six months the number of staff has risen to 15, including new interns and administrators. 

The company was also recently shortlisted as a finalist in Bondholder East Midlands Chamber's Derbyshire Chamber Business Awards 2017, in the Commitment to People Development category. 

David Torrington, Managing Director, said: "In the three and a half years since Sky Recruitment Solutions started training, I have never known such an exciting time for the business.

"Internal promotions, a new Business Manager in Derby (Natalie Parkinson), new premises, recognition for the business in terms of Chamber of Commerce awards nominations etc. - and a current projection of 20-30% growth year on year in terms of turnover.

"My teams are going from strength to strength, and both Ripley and Derby offices are on an upward trajectory - I wouldn’t swap my staff or my business for anything!"

Purpose Media Lands Chamber Contract

Bondholder Purpose Media has been commissioned to create the new website for national business body, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The firm has been tasked with creating a more modern online platform which is engaging for visitors and solidifies BCC’s position as the UK’s leading business organisation.

BCC is the umbrella body for an independent and influential network of accredited Chambers of Commerce based in every region of the UK, and in key markets around the world. The network represents businesses of all sizes and sectors and supports more than five million employees in the UK.

The new website is aimed at positioning BCC as a modern, dynamic, forward-thinking organisation with business at its heart. It will act as a central online hub, giving businesses, regional Chambers, politicians and policymakers easy access to information about key BCC and Chamber network activities across a range of devices and social media channels. It will also consolidate several existing standalone BCC websites on to a single platform.

Purpose Media was awarded the contract after a competitive procurement process which saw agencies from across the UK submit tenders. It was chosen from a shortlist of six companies, following a pitch at BCC’s London head office. 

Matt Wheatcroft, the firm’s managing director, said: “We’re a long-standing supporter of Chambers of Commerce, so are thrilled to have won this contract. BCC is a fantastic organisation which does a lot of great work to help businesses across the UK to flourish, succeed and realise their trading ambitions.

“We’ve been a proud patron of our local East Midlands Chamber and have worked closely with it for a number of years, so we feel uniquely-placed to deliver an online platform which positions BCC at the heart of the national business agenda.” 

Allan Williams, Senior Press and Communications Manager at the BCC, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Purpose Media on this project. It was an incredibly competitive process, but Purpose Media’s detailed understanding of how the BCC needs to position itself externally, aligned with their clear technical expertise, made them the stand-out choice.”

£200m Investment for Derby Station

A £200 million upgrade to Derby train station is due to get underway next summer. 

East Midlands Trains and Network Rail have confirmed that the investment will offer significant improvements to the tracks and the signalling system, as well as a new station platform.

Work is due to commence from July 2018, and will cause some disruption to services. 

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “This work is vital to deliver an upgraded railway in Derby and we are supportive of the plans in place by Network Rail.

“Our key priority is to ensure that we provide the best possible service for our customers during the works. We are developing comprehensive plans to ensure that we can continue running as many of our London train services as possible, whilst ensuring that we can offer reliable replacement rail services on the local routes during the times we are not able to operate our train services.

“We’re in the process of finalising all the details of our timetable during the works and will be publishing detailed customer advice and timetables early in the New Year. We’ll also be carrying out an extensive communications campaign with customers, key businesses and rail station users so they are aware of the changes they can expect during these works.”

 

Chamber Picks PKF

Bondholder PKF Cooper Parry has won the contract to be East Midlands Chamber’s new outsourced IT services provider.

PKF Cooper Parry’s specialist IT Solutions team will provide support for more than 140 people across fellow Bondholder's offices in Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester,as well as providing strategic advice to help shape the Chamber’s future IT strategy to create productivity and efficiency gains.

Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: “IT plays a significant role in any modern business and it’s important that the Chamber continues to invest in technology as a solution to continue to evolve its services and meet the demands of its members in the 21st century.

“As the it continues to embrace cloud-based technology, outsourcing the Chamber’s ICT support services was the next logical step in its digital transformation. I’m delighted to be working with PKF Cooper Parry in this new partnership.”

Brett Critchley, partner and head of IT Solutions at PKF Cooper Parry, said: “The partnership with East Midlands Chamber is a major coup for the business.

“One of the key factors in winning the contract was around becoming part of their business and being heavily involved in the strategy and planning around IT. We have been providing strategic IT advice to businesses for more than 25 years and this breadth of knowledge also had an important part to play.”

Blueprint's Facelift for Chamber

Bondholder Blueprint Interiors has given a facelift to the new head offices of fellow Bondholder East Midlands Chamber.

The firm was tasked with transforming the empty office block in Chesterfield, into modern, open-plan workspace which will house East Midlands Chamber and its 90+ staff.

The 4-week project saw Blueprint develop the concept, design the two-storey, 13,000 sq ft space, source the furniture, materials and equipment and then carry out the refurbishment and fit out.

Blueprint incorporated the Chamber’s three main brand colours – red, green and blue – into the overall design, as well as providing modular workstations to make use of the open-plan space, and creating several innovative storage solutions.

Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said:  “We are very happy with the result and with the service we got from Blueprint.

“Chesterfield was the oldest and most run-down of all our offices, now it is our most modern, with great flexibility, a good mix of meeting rooms that members can hire and areas where people can work away from their desks.”

Rob Day, managing director at Blueprint Interiors, added: “We are a proud patron of East Midlands Chamber and were delighted to work on this project to create the modern, open and attractive workspace the Chamber needs."

Enterprising Women of the Year

East Midlands Chamber toasted Derbyshire's Enterprising Women of the year, at a gala dinner last week. 

The awards recognise the achievements of women in business and are co-Chaired by Jean Mountain, a Director and Immediate Past President of East Midlands Chamber.

A representative for the awards said: '“We were very impressed with the quality of the applications this year and level of support for women in business.”

Winners of the night included many Bondholders. 

Megan Morris, from Bondholder Sky Recruitment Solutions, was awarded Apprentice of the Year, while the Geldards Family Team walked away with Team of the Year. 

Zoe Dowthwaite from Bondholder Flint Bishop was highly commended as Female Employee of the year, as was Natalie Bamford of DerbyDaysOut.co.uk, as Enterprising New Business Woman of the Year.

The Perfect Circle Team at Bondholder Pick Everard were also highly commended as Team of the Year. 

Consultation on the Industrial Strategy

The Government has published its Green Paper on Industrial Strategy - central to which will be new sector deals and major investment in research and development to support the economy.

To support this the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership is gathering views from businesses and organisations in its area, so it can better represent those views to Government.

The Government launched a UK-wide consultation on its green paper, the Building our Industrial Strategy report, at the end of last month. The 132 page report outlines ten key pillars – including skills building, upgrading infrastructure and investing in science – through which the Government is seeking to drive economic growth, and reduce regional variations in opportunities and prosperity. The Government’s 12 week consultation on the Strategy will end on Monday April 17.

D2N2 is conducting its own research to gather local businesses' views on the strategy. A short survey can be filled online, by clicking here.

During the consultation period, Marketing Derby and Bondholder East Midlands Chamber are hosting a joint business consultation session, where the strengths, assets and opportunities that exist within businesses will be explored and a Derby-based response to the strategy will be developed.

The event is kindly being hosted by Bondholder Derby Conference Centre.

The session is aimed at all businesses and will be participative and include a Q&A with MP for Derby North, Amanda Solloway, who sits on the BEIS Select Committee.

For more information about this Bondholder event, please click here. 

 

 

Chamber Lead Delegation to Westminster

 

Led by Bondholder East Midlands Chamber, a delegation of senior business chiefs travelled down to Westminster to informally present MPs with the key operating priorities to enable regional businesses to invest and grow in the new economic landscape.

50 business leaders from across the region were in attendance, as the Chamber unveiled their 'Shaping a Great Future for the East Midlands: Leading Balanced and Sustainable Growth in a Post-Brexit Economy' report.

The eight page document set out key business priorities for Brexit negotiations. 

The delegation also discussed devolution, and the implications of the Autumn statement. 

Chris Hobson, East Midlands Chamber Director of Policy, said: "Getting the right messages into Westminster, and making sure our regional MPs are all attuned to the needs of the local business community will be vital to making sure that Britain prospers in a post-Brexit global economy.

"The delegation gave local businesses an opportunity to tell MPs what their expectations are as we overcome the uncertainties of the current economic climate."

The East Midlands Chamber has also recently scooped the Excellence in International Trade Award from the British Chambers of Commerce.

The award recognises the Chamber’s success in handling export documentation for clients, which accompanied goods valued at £529m.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “I am delighted for the Chamber and particularly for the nine members of staff who make up our international trade team that we have won this award. It is due recognition of their expertise and hard work and and also recognition at the highest level of the portfolio of services we offer to members.
 
“Processing paperwork for shipments around the world is something that all our staff have to train for and be qualified to do and the fact that their expertise has been recognised with this award shows just how good they all are. I collected the award, but it is theirs, not mine.”

East Midlands Chamber: Government Must Commit to Midland Main Line Electrification

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber has called on the Government to commit to the electrification of the Midland Main Line. 

Following on from a late night debate in the House of Commons, called by Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, Under-Secretary of State for Transport Paul Maynard said only that electrification to Corby and Kettering would go ahead as planned.

Pressed by Nicky Morgan and regional MPs from both sides of the House, Mr Maynard said track improvements to, but not through, the East Midlands, would increase capacity and improve services on the whole route.

He said further electrification would be carried out “incrementally”, refusing to be drawn on a timetable for completion.

Last year, then Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, having stalled and ‘unstalled’ electrification of the line to Sheffield, said the work would be completed by 2023.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Business is calling on Government to commit to electrification of Midland Main Line all the way to Sheffield by 2023.

“Unlike other lines proposed for electrification, the design and preliminary works have all been done. Network Rail had a team of highly-skilled personnel set up to deliver Midland Main Line electrification. When the project was ‘stalled’ the team was split-up and took time to reassemble when it was ‘unstalled’ again.

“The repeated delays can only increase uncertainty for business and materially disadvantage the East Midlands at a time when the Government should be doing everything it can to demonstrate confidence in UK plc through infrastructure investment. "

The Chamber's comments are echoed by the Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, David Ralph. 

David believes that 'a failure to deliver the Midland Main Line electrification would be a further blow' to investment and infrasturcture.