Business Conference 2016

Over 80 delegates, drawn from locally based businesses attended the West Somerset Business Conference held at St Audries Park on Weds 16th November 2016. The conference explored how opportunities for local economic growth are developing in West Somerset, being brought about through both business investment as well as community action.

The presentations and debate began by looking into the potential coming out of large scale regeneration projects, such as Hinkley and how local businesses were collaborating in order to develop the capacity to become part of the supply chain.

Maximising the use of new technologies was discussed by Kate Doodson of Cosmic, with some thought-provoking observations on the pace of technological advances and a warning that businesses need to keep pace so as not to jeopardise market position. Local businessman Harry Singer engaged delegates with his “15 ways to make business growth slightly less painful”, sharing project management and team building approaches taken within his business, Singer Instruments in Roadwater.

Delegates also discovered how opportunities were not just being brought about by large investment, but also through grassroots activity driven by local communities, with plans for the East Quay in Watchet being brought about through the work of the Watchet Coastal Communities Team and Onion Collective. See YouTube

Cllr Karen Mills said, “I was particularly interested to see how opportunities are evolving for those interested in developing business skills. It is encouraging to see the number of apprenticeship opportunities at the Beach Hotel, four Employment Hubs now up and running in the District and the National College for Nuclear being constructed on our doorstep at Cannington. “There was a fantastic buzz about the event. Delegates were not only informed, but left excited about the future opportunities for business in West Somerset.”

Presentation slides can be viewed under related documents See what others said about the event on Twitter #wsbusconf

Information about the Get Business Get Digital business workshop programme which is supported by West Somerset Council can be found at