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Combined Authority’s unified pitch draws UKREiiF crowds


Combined Authority’s unified pitch draws UKREiiF crowds

Picture: johnhoulihan.com

The Combined Authority’s ‘Team Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’ pitch at the UK’s biggest trade and investment conference, UKREiiF, saw hundreds of delegates from over 200 organisations visit its pavilion.

Working with local authorities, the Combined Authority developed a unified approach to showcase the region on the national stage, with the aim of attracting investment, supporting growth, jobs and prosperity across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Picture: johnhoulihan.com

The Team Cambridgeshire and Peterborough pavilion hosted six core events on key topics for the area, as well as two fringe events, which drew attendances of more than 440 including repeat visitors who attended more than one event. The sponsorship of a pavilion ensured the Combined Authority gave a louder voice to the interests of the region to a national and global audience.

The show, held on May 21-23, gathered more than 12,000 delegates, over 1,500 investors, over 500 developers, more than 250 local authorities, Government ministers, shadow ministers and senior Westminster officials. The Combined Authority and partners are building on the networks and contacts established at the event and are now in direct contact with everyone who visited the pavilion as well as other leads to explore opportunities for further investment in the region.

The Devolution Deal which established the Combined Authority in 2017 targeted a doubling of the size of the economy by 2042. Promoting the region nationally and internationally as a great place to live, learn, work and do business is a key part of attracting more investment in the region.

Picture: johnhoulihan.com

The Combined Authority’s Independent Improvement Board supported UKREiiF attendance, aligning with a focus on developing better collaborative working with councils across the region.

The Combined Authority, members of the Business Board and representatives from local councils all worked in support of presence at the event. Key to the pitch was not just the strengths of the region, in areas like agri-tech, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and engineering, but the need for further infrastructure like transport, water and energy, to ensure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s economic success continues.

The pavilion was buzzing with events including how to balance the growth of Cambridge with the needs of the community, Levelling Up in action in Peterborough, agri-tech’s role in future food security and how to breathe new life into market towns. The Combined Authority has also gained insights from regions around the country tackling similar challenges and will be used to inform its strategic vision and developing Shared Ambition for the region which is being worked up in collaboration with the public, communities, local councils, businesses and other organisations.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, said: “Our debut at UKREiiF was all about making a powerful impact as ‘Team Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’. We showcased the vast potential of our area and its unique characteristics, which drew significant attention and reinforced our commitment to creating sustainable growth and prosperity for everyone. Working with our local authorities and partners, we are laying the foundation for a brighter future, ensuring that our region remains a vibrant place to live, work, and thrive.”

Cllr Sarah Conboy, Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council and Combined Authority Board member, said: “UKREiiF was a fantastic platform to showcase both the economic dynamism and unique character which makes Cambridgeshire and Peterborough special.

“There was clearly great interest in our collective pitch and the fact that opportunities for investment and growth exist right across the whole geography, from cities, to market towns and rural areas. Our attendance was a clear example of the impact this region can make when we are more than the sum of our parts and we will continue to work to bring greater investment, opportunity and prosperity to our communities.”

Councillor Nick Thulbourn, Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth and Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that the Combined Authority’s presence at UKREiiF helped to showcase our city and its huge potential for growth to a wide audience.

“Peterborough is currently one of the country’s fastest growing cities with several exciting projects either in development or in the pipeline. We are fully committed to working with partners, including the Combined Authority, to help continue this trend of effective growth and create a city of opportunity for everyone.”

Chair of the Combined Authority Business Board, Al Kingsley, said: “The Combined Authority pavilion was buzzing and I heard many compliments on the events we hosted.

“This was a great opportunity to get our region’s voice out there on the national stage, in support of our aim to further attract the investment and skilled people that will keep growth strong and sustainable. There’s plenty to build on from the event as we look to develop further the conversations and discussions we started with the hundreds of visitors we had to our pavilion.”

Al Kingsley speaks at a panel discussion. Picture: johnhoulihan.com

Chief Executive of Huntingdonshire District Council, Michelle Sacks, said: “UKREiiF offers an immense platform to those who have ambition for their people and place, to showcase the fantastic opportunities that exist through our single voice – working together we were able to talk about our whole area as a great region that is delivering for UK PLC, but also be able to keep the individuality and uniqueness of place that resonates with people and delve into the specific opportunities, that mean we captured the interest of those attending – and we are seeing that interest in follow up visits.”