Wednesday, 2 May 2012

First Collaborating for Growth Business Show Resounding Success

• Over 500 visitors attended the local business event hosted by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership at the Madejski

The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) and the Berkshire Media Group (BMG) hosted the ‘Collaborating for Growth Business Show 2012’ on the 18th of April 2012 at The Madjeski Stadium, Reading.

Over 500 Thames Valley businesspeople visited the show where they had the opportunity to network with their peers, listen to an inspiring set of keynote speakers, attend a series of apprenticeship workshops and meet some of the 80 local businesses that exhibited at this first Collaborating for Growth event.

Steve Lamb, Chair of the TVB LEP, delivered his keynote on the state of Thames Valley Berkshire’s economy, the aims of the TVB LEP and the importance of inward investment in the region. Other keynotes focused on the theme of leadership and how to succeed and win in business and life. Speakers included entrepreneur Kevin Gaskell, polar explorer Jim McNeill, and sportsmen Eamonn Dolan - manager of the Reading FC Youth Academy, Henry Hirsch - coach at Reading Rowing Club, and triathlete Matt Rogan who discussed how lessons learned from the discipline of sport can be transferred to business practice.

“The Collaborating for Growth event was a huge success,” commented Steve Lamb. “The speaker sessions were highly motivating and there was excellent support and participation from local organisations across the region. We were delighted to have had the opportunity to meet with so many businesses to demonstrate how they can help boost the local economy by getting involved with regional initiatives such as developing the skills and education of our young people, improving transport infrastructure to Heathrow airport and widening access to superfast broadband across the region.”

The TVB LEP team delivered a series of presentations on its key initiatives, which businesses and attendees were encouraged to sign up to:

• Skills and Education: TVB LEP is working in partnership with businesses, local colleges and higher education institutions to improve the work-ready skills of young people and to promote the effectiveness of apprenticeships for businesses.
• The Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) campaign: Ease of transport and connectivity are essential to grow the local economy, and attract inward investment - the WRAtH initiative will deliver direct rail services to Heathrow from Reading, via Maidenhead and Slough with journey times reduced by up to 45 minutes.
• Superfast Berkshire: The TVB LEP is working with the six Berkshire unitary authorities to widen access to superfast broadband to ensure the region remains competitive. The aim is to achieve a minimum level of 2mb across the region, enabling businesses to conduct their operations with speed and efficiency.

The Collaborating for Growth event was co-sponsored by SEGRO, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership and Reading UK CIC. Neil Impiazzi, Partnership Development Manager at SEGRO, commented: “The inaugural Collaborating for Growth Business Show was extremely well attended and had a great buzz - you could feel the vibrancy of the Thames Valley echoing throughout the event. SEGRO continues to invest heavily in the region and we look forward to next year’s event.”

Helen Barnett, Marketing Manager at Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, commented: “We were delighted to sponsor the Business Show, which provided a fabulous platform for Berkshire businesses to connect with each other and receive some expert advice via the speaker sessions. For us, it was a great opportunity to remind businesses what Bracknell has to offer and answer the many questions that people have about the area.”

The Collaborating for Growth Business Show 2012 was designed to accommodate every business professional and maximise business potential. The event was supported and attended by key business membership organisations including the Institute of Directors for Berkshire, the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.

To access presentations from the show or for more information on the TVB LEP, its key initiatives and how to get involved, please visit

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