We were absolutely delighted to welcome around 100 delegates to our D2N2 Annual Event and AGM in the fantastic setting of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK’s Burnaston Hall near Derby yesterday.
The key purpose of our event was to highlight D2N2 LEP’s achievements over the past year in our priority areas of low carbon, skills & careers, business support & investment, inclusion, devolution and delivery excellence. We also updated delegates on the future landscape for these important functions in the context of devolution in the East Midlands. And in the area of low carbon, we shone a spotlight on recent developments for the East Midlands Hydrogen partnership.
Our host for the event and our first keynote speaker was Tim Freeman, D2N2 Board Member and Deputy Managing Director at Toyota. Tim presented a fascinating insight into Toyota’s manufacturing operations in the UK and the company’s approach to carbon neutrality, including the role of hydrogen. Tim also provided an overview of some of the biodiversity initiatives supported at Toyota’s flagship motor manufacturing site in Burnaston.
Next on the agenda was our Chair, Elizabeth Fagan, who delivered our keynote address. Elizabeth explained how, as an important part of our core purpose, we in the D2N2 LEP have been strongly representing the voice of business over the past decade. From micro-businesses, through to small to medium sized enterprises and leading global companies, D2N2 LEP has worked closely with business leaders and owners to understand their views, champion their interests and represent their voice.
Building on that theme, Elizabeth emphasised that the new East Midlands Combined County Authority must build on the work of the LEP and continue to champion the voice of our businesses in the development of the new organisation, and ensure a strong economic and inward investment strategy for low carbon economic growth, skills, transport and housing.
“I will be leading our Board and the D2N2 LEP team to amplify the voice of business, to ensure that our business leaders can be active participants, and ensure that the voice of our universities and colleges plays an integral part in the preparations for the new organisation.”
Following Elizabeth’s keynote, our Chief Executive, Will Morlidge, talked about the D2N2 LEP Delivery Plan and some of our key partnerships and priorities going forward. Will took the time to thank the whole D2N2 LEP Team for continuing to deliver excellent results through a period of change, backed by a supportive D2N2 Board led by our Chair Elizabeth Fagan. Will also highlighted the importance of inclusion and the work of our SEND Careers Hub and our partnership with the University of Nottingham on the Charter for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.
Our next keynote speaker was Mark Rogers, Interim Chief Officer, for the East Midlands Devolution Programme. Mark provided an insightful update on the pathway to devolution in our region and talked about his work preparing for the East Midlands Combined County Authority, set to be the first combined county authority in the country, and covering the whole of the D2N2 region.
Green light for devolution in the East Midlands
Our Annual Event and AGM took place on the same day as full council discussions and votes in all four D2N2 Upper Tier local authorities (Derbyshire County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council) on the East Midlands Devolution plans, following the granting of Royal Assent in October. We are delighted to share that all four authorities have voted in favour of the plans. This means that residents across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, will get the opportunity to vote for the first ever East Midlands Mayor next May and that the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) will come into existence next Spring.
Sally Brewis, Head of Regional Development at Cadent, completed our keynote speaker line-up by providing an insight into what’s been happening since the highly successful launch of East Midlands Hydrogen in September, and covered how the partnership, set to be the largest inland hydrogen cluster in the UK, is growing and developing.
During our event, delegates had the opportunity to pose questions to our keynote speakers and there were opportunities to network over lunch.
Final remarks from Nicola Swaney, our Head of External Affairs, brought our Annual Event and AGM to a close. Nicola thanked all our keynote speakers, expressed our appreciation to Tim Freeman and all the team at Toyota for hosting, and thanked delegates for their great engagement and support.
Find out more about devolution in the East Midlands
For media enquiries, contact:
Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP