News - 21 April 2015

D2N2 Chairman Joins Panel To Discuss Future of Public Sector

The future of the public sector is in greater collaboration with business, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman Peter Richardson told a business audience this morning (April 21).

Peter joined Deputy Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire County Council Jayne Francis-Ward and Steff Wright, Chairman of construction firm the Gusto Group, as part of a three-person panel quizzed for a Q&A on the public sector, organised by the University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity business network. The panel chair for the free event this morning, attended by around 50 people and held at the University’s Sir Colin Campbell Building in Triumph Road, was Nottingham Post Weekend Editor Richard Baker. (Pictured below are, left to right, Peter, Steff, Jayne and Richard). 

IngenuityBreakfastApril 1

In a wide ranging, hour long session the panel covered issues including local authorities’ current activities to help business, public-private partnerships, specific issues such as the spread of broadband technology, education and skills, and the creation of a ‘Midlands Powerhouse’.

Peter has been Chairman of D2N2 since November 2012. It is a partnership between business, local authorities and education providers which provides help, guidance and funding to create economic growth and jobs across its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Drawing on his own financial business background and knowledge of D2N2’s activities as a successful public-private collaboration, the Local Enterprise Chairman told this morning’s audience: “The public sector has done an enormous amount for us, I think the problem sometimes is that we look more towards what they’re not doing for us.”

Peter said there was a need for businesses to engage more with the public sector, rather than assuming that to do so would mean their projects becoming mired in bureaucracy.

He was also clear on the importance and need to develop stronger links between business, and further and higher education providers; something actively tackled by D2N2, which is working to deliver its own Skills for Growth Strategy.

“Our colleges need to get better at delivering courses which support the workforce needs of our businesses. This is something they know and something we at D2N2 are working on through our plans with Nottingham colleges, including the creation of an integrated Skills Hub in the City,” Peter added.

Fellow panellist, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Jayne Francis-Ward, added that public funding cuts made it inevitable that the future would “be more about partnership” with businesses and also between local authorities in the D2N2 area. Both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire are currently going through the process of obtaining ‘Combined Authority’ status, one covering Derby and Derbyshire and one for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, which would be able to take a group decision for all its partner councils on economic, transport and housing.

To learn more about the University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity network and its regular business events see website

For further information about the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership go to its website

Further information on this media release or D2N2’s work can be obtained from Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 0115 9578749 or email:

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