Strategic discussions - including business growth and Brexit - were on the agenda as some of the biggest companies in the Derbyshire Dales met for a business breakfast this week in Cromford.
The first Derbyshire Dales Chief Executives' Forum, hosted by Derbyshire Dales District Council's CEO Paul Wilson, was designed to increase interaction at a senior level between the council and businesses that are of strategic importance to the Dales economy.
Derbyshire Dales MP the Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who joined the gathering in the Creative Lounge at Cromford Mills on Thursday (19 July), welcomed the new initiative, saying:
"It is vital that both the private and public sector look at ways to promote opportunities in the Derbyshire Dales for the benefit of all its residents. We have listened to the points raised today and have something to build on.”
Senior officers from Derbyshire County Council, Peak National Peak Authority and East Midlands Chamber also attended at the invitation of Derbyshire Dales District Council, and the group debated current issues facing local companies, including the key benefits and challenges of running a business in the Derbyshire Dales.
Paul Wilson, pictured above with Sir Patrick at Cromford Mills, said:
"Hearing directly from local businesses was tremendously helpful and helped us to better understand how public sector bodies can support and help facilitate economic growth.
"Topics for discussion included key infrastructure projects in the area, recruitment issues and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, including the effect on investment decisions, potential new markets and the implications of import tariffs - and the group agreed that more forums should happen in the future."
Robin Eyre, Chairman of Business Peak District, said:
“The meeting was a great opportunity for businesses to meet Sir Patrick and the Derbyshire Dales team, and discuss views on developing opportunities and employment for a thriving local economy, which is so critical to our success and prosperity as a region.
"We encourage all businesses in the Peak District to become members of Business Peak District so we can represent them to the councils and our partners who play an important role in planning and development, infrastructure, employment, productivity and skills.”
And Chris Sellors, owner and Managing Director of C W Sellors Fine Jewellery, said:
"I really enjoyed being involved in the meeting. It was great to see Paul and his team at Derbyshire Dales reaching out to discuss how we can all work together to build better business in our area. Nothing but good can come from working together and I look forward to this continuing and evolving."
Following the positive feedback from yesterday’s event, Derbyshire Dales District Council intends to run a second Chief Executives’ Forum in 2019.