Business group launches to help shape economic policy

Paula Deas

A new business group designed to help shape economic policy across Coventry and Warwickshire and at national level is being launched.

The CW Economic Forum will be made up of locally based businesses and is being established to inform and shape economic plans and policies impacting future growth of the area.

Coventry and Warwickshire has established itself as one of the leading areas for inward investment over the past decade, and the forum is designed as a successor to the Local Enterprise Partnership which – along with 37 across the country, have or are being closed as part of Government policy.

CWLEP was always chaired by a private sector representative and has been credited with forming closer links with elected decision-makers to help secure investment and growth.

The new forum has the backing of Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council along with Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Paula Deas, Coventry and Warwickshire Business Partnership strategic lead and former deputy CEO of the CWLEP, has established the forum.

Deas said: “Both the city and county council are very keen to ensure that the co-operation and strong line of communication which was established by the CWLEP is continued. It is vital that those charged with driving the growth and economic fortunes of our area hear from the people at the sharp end of commercial life.

“A legacy of the CWLEP is a strong mutual understanding of our shared Coventry and Warwickshire economic geography and the role that both public and private stakeholders play in achieving sustainable economic growth for the area.

“We are fortunate in Coventry and Warwickshire that we have really good communication between the local authorities and organisations such as the CW Growth Hub, the CW Chamber and the Federation of Small Businesses, but to have regular, constructive, and informed information direct from individual businesses is key.

“We have total buy-in from the authorities and I am confident that the Economic Forum will provide them with coal-face information and insight which will help shape decisions right across our economy – both in terms of geography and sectors.”

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