Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has announced that Professor Simon Gibson CBE will Chair the new Newport Place programme. The first of its kind in Wales, BITC’s Newport Place programme will bring together residents, stakeholders and businesses to address inequalities in Newport with the aim of supporting the community through business action.
Simon is Chairman of the Alacrity Graduate Entrepreneurship Foundation and Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Wales. Before joining Wesley Clover, he was co-founder, President and CEO of Ubiquity Software Corporation, a pioneer in the development of media protocols and service platforms for the internet. Simon is also currently Chair of the Burns delivery unit of Wales and a Trustee of the Newbridge Charitable Foundation.
In 1999, Simon was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to industry and to the community in South Wales. In the 2018 New Year’s Honours list he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the economy of Wales. He is also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent.
Newport is the first location in Wales for BITC’s Place programme and the ninth area in the UK for BITC’s Place work. With a population of 159,600, Newport has seen the highest rate of population growth (9.5%) since 2011, with 64% of its population aged between 15 and 64 years old, and 76% of the working age population in employment.
For forty years, BITC has worked in communities across the UK, helping places in need, by working with businesses, local government, and third sector organisations to reset economic ambitions and collaborate to deliver long-term impact.
Lord Bassam, Place Director at Business in the Community, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Simon as part of the team. His experience and skills are precisely what is needed to drive the collaboration needed to deliver for the people, community and businesses in Newport. At a time when the cost of living crisis is foremost in our minds, it’s more important than ever for the public and private sectors to work together to support communities like Newport.”
Professor Simon Gibson CBE, DL, Newport Place Chairperson at Business in the Community, added:
“We are entering into a challenging and exciting time for the city. However, with clear and common objectives, there should be no competition in building community within the city. The opportunity to create that consensus and work together to enhance the city of Newport is exciting.
“Establishing Business in the Community’s Place programme in Newport provides the perfect opportunity to enhance the great work already happening in communities, whilst focussing on new ideas and innovation that will mobilise people, ideas and passion in Newport.
“I am eager to work alongside a wide range of stakeholders and partners who are equally motivated to developing the city, making it a place people will want to live, visit and work.”