Representatives from major Sheffield City Region companies came together this week for the first meeting of the new SCR Trade and Investment Advisory Board.
The board, which will meet quarterly, has 10 members from public and private sector organisations across the region. It met for the first time on Tuesday, 28 November.
Members will act in an advisory capacity and lead the development of the international trade and investment offer in the city region, to boost jobs and growth.
Chris Scholey, chairman of the new board, leads on inward investment for the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
He said: “This is an exciting time for trade and investment Sheffield City Region, having recently hosted the Horasis China Conference, been a major part of a trade mission to Poland and drafted our new Inclusive Industrial Strategy. We are also actively forging new trade relationships with markets including China and India.
“Thanks to our bold outlook and our ‘let’s get it done’ work ethic, we are already seeing transformational change. It’s therefore the ideal time to welcome these people, all experts in their own fields, to our Trade and Investment Advisory Board and benefit from the insight they can bring.
“With a range of experiences and backgrounds in the public and private sectors, and with knowledge of the varied sectors across the geography of the city region, the board is ideally positioned to work with the SCR executive and steer the inward investment strategy.”
Board members include Diana Terris, chief executive of Barnsley Council; Afsaneh Farzaneh from the Government’s Department for International Trade; Paul Jagger, chairman of the SCR Chambers of Commerce; Jacqui Robinson from Sheffield Hallam University; Philippa Sanderson from KPMG; Iain Thomson from Harworth Estates; Tan Khan from Monaghans; Simon Collingwood from Quatro PR; Giles Searby from HLW Keeble Hawson; Mark Lynam, director of programme commissioning at SCR and Rachel Clark, director of Trade and Investment at SCR.
The investment strategy focuses on priority sectors where the region has distinctive specialisms and capabilities. These are principally around advanced manufacturing and engineering, where the city region has already seen huge investment from world-leading companies including McLaren and Boeing.
The strategy also aims to raise the profile of export and simplify the export support landscape, to make it easier for businesses to access products and services, while providing greater support to companies in the city region’s internationally competitive sectors.
Target markets, in the post-Brexit landscape, will be both within the EU and outside it, to align with the city region’s priority sectors and diversify our international portfolio. These markets include northern Europe, north America, China, India and the Gulf.
Simon Collingwood, director at Quatro PR, said: “Working for a national company that has recently established a presence in the North, including in Sheffield, I’m glad to be invited to contribute to this strategy.
“Having spent much of my career working with foreign companies looking to invest in the UK and grow British companies internationally, I hope to be able to provide advice, support and contacts to Sheffield City Region as we build and deliver on a global strategy.”