Local businesses and leaders gathered to celebrate a decade of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and the launch of a new £1.2 million programme to help fulfil Net Zero ambitions.
At the annual conference ‘Designed to Deliver’, the Local Enterprise Partnership, which has been delivering interventions and projects to drive forward inclusive economic growth across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region for the past ten years, launched its new Clean Growth Programme.
The conference, which was hosted at the newly opened B:Music space within Symphony Hall (one of 100 projects funded by the Local Growth Fund), showcased the new programme designed to support SME’s in reducing their carbon footprint to achieve net zero targets, while maximising growth opportunities.
Highlighted was a look back at the GBSLEP’s past decade of success, along with its plans for the future, reflecting the Government’s ambitions on investing in infrastructure, skills and innovations.
Tim Pile, outgoing Chair of GBSLEP said: ‘’For ten years, GBSLEP has delivered inclusive economic growth across the region in a smart, efficient and purposeful way. Our unique triple helix structure of bringing public, private and academic leaders together has enabled us to use local insight and a robust evidence base to implement investments and projects at pace. I am proud that we will have invested £1.8 billion into the regional economy by 2045 and for every £1 invested we will have leveraged £3 in public and private investment.
“It has been a great privilege to serve with such a dedicated board of directors and a passionate executive team. I am certain GBSLEP has a critical role to play in delivering the green industrial revolution, levelling up and the Government’s Plan for Growth and for ensuring our region continues to thrive,” he said.
The event was hosted by TV presenter Joanne Malin and featured headline speaker Scarlett Allen-Horton, a finalist of BBC’s The Apprentice and Founder of Harper Fox Partners.
Scarlett said: “I am passionate about the city and business growth and it’s great to be within the hub of activity within innovation, sustainability and green technologies, which are all industries we work in and are so passionate about. I’m completely elated to be here and being asked to speak at the event, and I’m delighted to see this growth opportunity for businesses within these areas locally, and am proud to be a part of it.”
Keynote speaker Shaun Sookoo, founder of Winny’s Kitchen and star of Channel 4’s The Money Maker also praised the support of GBSLEP in helping his business thrive.
Shaun Sookoo said: “It was an honour to be invited to speak at such a key event for GBSLEP. Without them I wouldn’t be as far along in business as I am today. The Growth Hub at GBSLEP is the go-to place for us when it comes to making any important changes within the business. They have never ever let us down.”
Interim Chair of GBSLEP Anita Bhalla added: “As I take on the role of interim chair, I would like to reiterate that GBSLEP will continue to play a pivotal role in inclusive regional economic growth. Our milestone year has given us the opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the last decade and to reaffirm our commitment to deliver for another 10 and more.
“We have today launched our ‘Clean Growth Programme’ to help businesses on their journey to net zero – another demonstration of our agility to implement and deliver at a local level. At the heart of our Delivery Plan for 2021 to 2022 is low carbon, innovation, young people, skills and business support and we will continue to serve the region by bringing together the public, private and academic sectors to make joined-up decisions.”
GBSLEP works with nine local authorities across the Greater Birmingham region, and includes Redditch, Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest, Lichfield, Cannock Chase, Tamworth, Burton, Solihull and Birmingham.