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Black Country Chamber Launch Campaign to Galvanise Region’s Manufacturers

IMG 6502On Friday 20th October, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce launched their latest policy campaign, Making the Future. The Campaign, which has a manufacturing focus, will run over the next 18 months and aim to raise the awareness and profile of manufacturing in the Black Country on a national scale.

The launch of the Campaign featured high-profile guest speakers including Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce and Trevor Leeks, Operations Director at Jaguar Land Rover. Also featuring on the panel were Jason Pitt from Made in the Midlands, Richard Butler from the CBI, Martin Dudley of Thomas Dudley Ltd and Neil Lloyd from FBC Manby Bowdler, who are partnering with the Black Country Chamber to deliver the Campaign.

The Campaign itself will be business-led and evidence based, focusing on key issues that affect manufacturing companies across the region. In terms of key themes, it will focus centrally on clarity over Brexit; further innovation and automation; developing skills and careers advice; deepening strategic collaboration; and the reliability and cost of power for Black Country businesses.

To complement the launch event, a roundtable meeting was held afterwards with Dr Adam Marshall and selected guests. In particular, discussion focused on three of the five key themes set out in the Manufacturing Campaign document: Access to EU labour, fostering innovation and automation, and the cost and reliability of power.

Speaking after the launch event, Neil Lloyd, Sales Director at FBC Manby Bowdler, commented: “We were delighted with the turnout for the launch; it demonstrated that there is a lot of appetite to support a campaign focused on manufacturing. The quality of the speakers and the panel was extremely high and gave some valuable insight into the challenges the sector faces, as well as some workable solutions.”

Highlighting the significance of the Chamber’s policy work, Melvin Wingfield, of Smethwick-based A&M EDM, said: “We were keen to work with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce in highlighting a number of issues that impact on our ability to provide sustainable employment. We were pleased, therefore, to attend the launch of a campaign focused on these issues. Collectively our voice is much stronger when spoken with the authority of a campaigning organisation with the gravitas of the Black Country Chamber. We will continue to work with, and alongside, the Black Country Chamber in ensuring the issues affecting us receive the prominence they deserve.”

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: “It was an honour to join Black Country Chamber at the launch of their Manufacturing Campaign, designed to help the sector fulfil its growth potential. The event was a testament to the work of the Chamber and its members in supporting an industry with such a proud local history, and their efforts to ensure manufacturing is prepared for the opportunities and challenges of the future. There is clear support and enthusiasm from local companies for action on the issues identified, such as skills, innovation and strategic collaboration, and this will go a long way in ensuring the success of the campaign, and helping the sector to prosper in the long-term and drive local growth.”

For more information on the Making The Future campaign, and for details on how you can get involved, please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/manufacturing

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