MAKING Stratford district a “landmark centre of high-tech research, innovation, and growth” within Warwickshire and beyond.
That was the vision outlined by Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson speaking at the announcement of a new business conference taking place in south Warwickshire next year.
The Driving Innovation & Growth Summit will bring together up to 50 businesses from across Stratford district to showcase the area’s existing strengths in manufacturing – including automation, AI, and electrification, agri-tech, and the digital and creative industries.
The summit, by invitation, has been organised by SDC, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, and the University of Warwick. It will be held at the University of Warwick Wellesbourne Campus Conference Centre on February 17.
Coun Jefferson said the event would showcase the current strengths of the district – as a location for high-value, high-growth, and innovation-led businesses – and would aim to build on them.
“We have a long and proud history of being the home of highly-innovative businesses and we feel there is much more to build on to boost our economy and enhance Stratford district’s reputation as a driving force in various sectors from manufacturing to digital and technology to creative industries.
“One of the aims of the summit is to discuss the challenges and opportunities for economic growth in the Stratford district because we want to reinforce our area as a landmark centre of high-tech research, innovation, and growth within Warwickshire and beyond.
“We will be revealing news about ground-breaking new developments, as well as organising high-profile speakers and leading business figures from innovative growth sectors which are already established in our region to speak at the event.
“This will be an ideal opportunity for business leaders to inform the emerging economic and growth agenda locally, which is also being driven by government policy.
“Inward investment has a vital role to play in future growth opportunities in Stratford district and we want to develop a high-growth network and attract new innovative businesses to the region.
“Importantly, there will be opportunities for companies to contribute directly to the emerging growth agenda, with senior political and business leaders in attendance because we must understand not only the strengths which already exist in our region, but the future opportunities and challenges ahead.
“We want to make it very clear that, as a district council we are very much “open for business.”
Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the current economic climate was not easy to deal with for any business in any sector, and working together would help encourage growth in the local economy.
Professor Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor and president of the University of Warwick, said:
“The University of Warwick plays a key role in fostering innovation to enable the region’s businesses and industry to grow, attracting new inward investment and developing talent pathways which address the skills shortage facing the region.
“The summit will be a great opportunity for business leaders, local leaders and the university’s world-leading experts to discuss the challenges which will impact our region and how we can work together to develop future opportunities.”