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Peak District businesses inspired to grow

Peak District business can get stronger together – that was one of the big messages to come out of last week's Business Peak District annual conference (8 September).

More than 100 business people attending were urged to spread the word that membership of Business Peak District is free to any business or organisation in the Peak District, with an easy online sign-up at the organisation's new website www.businesspeakdistrict.com.

Jim Harrison addresses the BPD annual conference (photo Paul Morgans)Business Peak District Chairman Jim Harrison, Director of Thornbridge Brewery, said:

"We are delighted by the response to the conference.  It was hosted by one of our most successful businesses, Hope Construction Materials, and gave all of us an insight into excellent working practices.

"The challenge in the next year is to get more businesses signed up that will stand by our vision of the Peak District as a distinctive, high quality rural environment with an enterprising, growing and sustainable economy.

"We are looking for organisations and individuals with a passion for the Peak District, its unique landscapes, character and experiences, and people who care for this spectacular part of the world and want to celebrate everything Peak District."

Member benefits include email news updates about funding opportunities and useful business information, invitations to Business Peak District events and workshops, plus advice and support to help grow businesses.

The 'Inspired by the Peak District' logo (photo Paul Morgans)Business Peak District members also get free associate membership of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and free use of the 'Inspired by the Peak District' brand logo, which can be downloaded from the www.businesspeakdistrict.com website.

The conference got off to a flying start with a tour of the cement works organised by Ashley Bryan, Industrial Director of Hope Construction Materials, who presented an inspiring talk on the steps the business has taken to grow and develop.

The conference tour of Hope Construction Materials (photo Paul Morgans)Sarah Loates from Loates Business Solutions gave a humorous and down to earth presentation on how to avoid staff problems, and Jackie Fancourt of Jay Financial followed with an excellent and thought-provoking overview of the auto enrolment pensions situation. Jackie is running a free seminar on this at Chatsworth on the 19 September - book a free place at www.jayfinancial.com/events_c104.aspx

Annie Maudling of On A Wick and A Prayer described how use of the Inspired By the Peak District brand has helped her business expand, and the evening concluded with a lively question and answer debate.

A copy of all the presentations from the conference are available online at www.businesspeakdistrict.com.

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