Business Leaders Unite Behind New Pembrokeshire Initiative

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Major organisations representing business from both the public and private sectors have united at a recent gathering in Pembroke Dock. Designed to unlock the vast amount of potential Pembrokeshire has to offer and ultimately accelerate growth throughout the region, the event is now seeking to engage private sector businesses and investors throughout the county.

The initial theme ‘Putting Pembrokeshire on the Map’, was organised by founding members Pembrokeshire Council, the Development Bank of Wales, FSB, Planed, Chamber of Commerce, Business News Wales and Bombora Wave Power.

As the county begins to accelerate its inward investment strategy, the formation of this new group is a major boost to the region.

Topics discussed included, how can Pembrokeshire attract more inward investment, building a new diaspora network, developing local supply chains and improving Pembrokeshire’s communication strategy.

The next phase of this partnership initiative includes doubling local private sector participation and identifying all potential investment streams for the region.

Businesses that are interested in getting involved with this initiative can contact [email protected]

County Councillor Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture said:

“I’m really keen over the next 12 months to reset the Councils relationship with the business community and develop a new constructive forum in which we can meet, engage and work together to deliver the economic growth Pembrokeshire needs. We’re making big commitments as an administration to Economic Development and Regeneration and engaging proactively with business will play a big part of making our investment the success it needs to be.”

Rhian Elston, Investment Director at the Development Bank of Wales said:

“The development bank welcomed the opportunity to co-host such a vibrant discussion with the local business community aimed at putting Pembrokeshire on the map.  We’re wholly committed to supporting businesses across all of Wales but our approach is very much tailored to meet the needs of individual businesses. With a dedicated West Wales team based in Dafen, we are keen to expand our work with local employers, Pembrokeshire County Council and support organisations such as the Bridge Innovation Centre to ensure we can support Pembrokeshire businesses and help them reach their growth potential.”

Ben Cottam, Head of External Affairs at the FSB said:

“This conversation is hugely important not just for developing the economy of Pembrokeshire but also defining its contribution to the wider Welsh economy. There is a wealth of opportunity and potential for developing business and the economy within the county. However, what was clear from the roundtable discussion is the need for better connectedness and a concerted, collective effort to define the ‘Pembrokeshire pitch’ around which we can all gather to sell the county to the world and create the confidence to develop our home-grown businesses. That ambition was so much in evidence and we are looking forward to working with partners such as the Council and the Development Bank of Wales and others to catch the wave of opportunity to take this forward”.

Iwan Thomas, CEO, PLANED said:

“As well as having a lively debate it was great to see agreement on tangible next steps for action in Pembrokeshire. We will be contacting business across the county and asking them what they need and what they can do to help other in practical terms. This will help ensure we don’t just set up another talking shop but that this forum makes a difference to businesses in Pembrokeshire”.

Mark Powney, Managing Director, Business News Wales said:

“Having been brought up in West Wales, I have a good understanding of the challenges the area has ahead. I am also excited at the potential. Pembrokeshire has a great deal of USP’s and it is great to be part of such an ambitious initiative. The region has a lot to shout about and I am looking forward to playing my part in building a progressive communications and local media infrastructure”.

Chris Williams, Commercial Manager, Bombora Wave Power said:

“As an innovative technology company establishing ourselves in Pembrokeshire we are extremely pleased with the local support we have received and the capability and enthusiasm within the local supply chain. With a commitment to create a long-term sustainable business in Pembroke Dock and with many of our new employees coming from the County we look forward to continue to support the Pembrokeshire Initiative to create a vibrant and prosperous centre for the renewable energy industry”.

Richard Easton, Portfolio Executive, Development Bank of Wales said:

“The Development Bank of Wales is totally committed to supporting Welsh businesses with their growth plans through the provision of appropriately structured funding and advice. We have a strong team of Executives covering West Wales and being Pembrokeshire born and bred, I am keen to provide as much input and support as I can to help the local economy grow and prosper. I look forward to working closely with the other organisations to help put ‘Pembrokeshire on the Map’ and to supporting as many businesses as possible over the next few years”.

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