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City and county developments to boost business


Current and future development of Leicester and Leicestershire will improve and create new places for businesses to grow and to connect with the three local universities plus attract inward investment and new arrivals, a Leicester Business Festival event has been told.

More than 90 people attended ProCon Leicestershire’s Leicester Business Festival event at City Hall yesterday [Thursday November 3].

The Outlook for Development in Leicestershire event heard from Andrew Smith, director of planning, transportation and economic development at Leicester City Council. He said: “We are already seeing a development of confidence and pride in the city. That’s a self-reinforcing process.”

Andrew outlined the current developments designed to “animate the city, creating new opportunities for events and activity in the evenings”. Current developments include the Waterside, DMU’s campus, the former New Walk Centre site and the cycleway network as part of the Connecting Leicester project.

Andy Rose, economic strategy manager at Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), explored MIRA’s successful Enterprise Zone near Hinckley and the current application for a multi-site Enterprise Zone in Loughborough and Leicester.

The LLEP is hoping for an announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November on the proposal to link the research capability of Leicestershire’s three universities with businesses keen to innovate.

Jerry Kane, sales and marketing director at the property and facilities management company Bellrock FM, gave a private sector perspective. He talked about Bellrock’s relocation of its Leicester offices from the edge of the city to Waterloo Way in the city centre and the positives for staff and clients of being so central and close to Leicester Railway Station.

Michael Bowsher QC, from the London-based commercial and civil barristers Monckton Chambers, spoke about Brexit and its possible effects on public procurement rules and state aid. He urged businesses to shout loudly to the Government about what they need.

Pam Allardice, chair of ProCon Leicestershire, thanked the speakers and all those who attended: “You are the best ambassadors for Leicestershire and hope that throughout the Festival you will be singing its praises.”

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