More than 120 business people from across Yorkshire attended the first-ever Selby District Economic Growth Conference, held in the historic surroundings of Carlton Towers.
The aim of the conference, which was hailed as a resounding sccess by delegates, was to promote the Selby district as a great place to do business; to discover more about government plans for the area; and to provide a priceless chance to network with business leaders from across the county. It was organised by Selby District Council.
The conference heard that the District Council has a critical role to play in transforming growth in the North of England. The Council’s new Economic Development Framework outlined ambitious plans for growth, aiming to strengthen the local economy and ensuring a sustainable future for the businesses and people who live there as well.
The speakers included Henri Murison, Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership (pictured); Andy Koss, Chief Executive, Drax Power; Jeremy Nolan, director of Glentrool Estates, the developers of Sherburn2 business park; Darren Hodsman, plant manager of British Gypsum; Barry Dodd and Roger Marsh, Chairs of the two Yorkshire Enterprise Partnerships; Janet Waggott, Chief Executive of Selby District Council; and Cllr Mark Crane, leader of Selby District Council.
Barry Dodd commented: “I felt this was a wonderful opportunity to talk about why the Selby district is an excellent place to do business. It was well organised and Selby’s strengths, including its location, connectivity, quality of life, skilled labour pool and good schools were promoted very effectively.”
Jeremy Nolan, meanwhile, took the opportunity to thank the Council’s Economic Development team for their tremendous support for Sherburn2, “These are exciting times for the Selby district, as perfectly illustrated by this successful conference. The conference was both a reflection of what has been achieved in the region and a bold statement of what can be achieved if we work together. Working together is this excellent Council’s mantra – and it must be ours, too.”
This view was echoed by Elliott Grant, chairman of the fast-growing, Selby-based Skills Network, one of the UK’s leading providers of technology-enabled training and skills solutions, who said, “The day illustrated a real will to make Selby a dynamic and attractive place to do business. Our success has proved that the area is an ideal place to work, with a superb road network and great workforce. The can-do attitude of the Council is a massive bonus – and gives us immense confidence in the future, not just for the Skills Network, but also for the district as a whole.”
The conference heard that the Selby economy was the fastest-growing in North Yorkshire, with 2,900 new and sustainable jobs created in the past two years across all sectors. This was supported by a first-class education provision in the district, including the Ofsted-outstanding Selby College, one of the leading further education colleges in the UK.
Selby District Council Leader, Cllr Mark Crane, explained: “This conference is not just significant for us, but also for our children and grandchildren. We have to build a better future for them. This is why we’re planning ahead for long-term business growth and prosperity, making the Selby district the ideal place in which to work and live. We have so much to offer – and we now have to make sure we get this message across.”
Judging by the animated and positive discussions during the informal networking lunch after the official session was over, that message – that Selby is now well and truly open for business – had been received loud and clear.
Here's a short film about the event