A Minister working on the UK’s ‘Brexit’ from the European Union met D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and East Midlands Chamber representatives to discuss businesses’ concerns and hopes, at a meeting hosted at leading law firm Geldards LLP’s Nottingham headquarters.
Lord George Bridges, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the new Government Department for Exiting the European Union (pictured centre), met earlier today (October 21) with D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph, Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles and its Director of Policy and External Affairs Chris Hobson, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP Nick Pulley and Chair of Geldards LLP David Williams, at the law firm’s headquarters on the NG2 Business Park.
The business groups’ representatives took the opportunity to stress the concerns and hopes of area companies around Brexit, including:
- the importance of direct consultation of businesses and Government on the final shape of the Brexit strategy, still being developed;
- the high value businesses placed on the continuing free movement of people, to allow the recruitment of skilled staff;
- University partners wishing to sustain their current funded research levels and retain the ability to attract skilled foreign researchers to work with them;
- that projects aimed at boosting the region’s economy – by improving business infrastructure and helping to reduce social exclusion – which were or are due to receive EU funding (through D2N2’s current allocation of € 250million in European Structural and Investment Funds, or ESIF), would still be able to go ahead with replacement central Government funding if EU investment was no longer possible.
Following the meeting David Ralph, D2N2 Chief Executive, said:
“There are still a lot of unknowns with regard to Britain’s exit from the European Union, and how smoothly that process goes will have a bearing on businesses’ decisions for at least the next two years. However, the adaptability of our area’s businesses is in the region’s DNA and I remain confident that they will rise to the challenge.
“The Chamber and D2N2 were very pleased to have the opportunity to talk directly to Lord Bridges, about what the region’s businesses feel they need from the process, to sustain continued economic growth here.”
Photo shows: David Williams, Chair of Geldards, Nick Pulley, Chair of LLEP, Lord Bridges, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of the East Midlands Chamber and David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 LEP (L-R).
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