Inward Investment Ambassadors pledge to speak up for Suffolk

John Dugmore, Martin Kent, Colin Noble, Deborah Cadman, Sarah Howard, Andy Wood and Ashleigh Seymou

John Dugmore, Martin Kent, Colin Noble, Deborah Cadman, Sarah Howard, Andy Wood and Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford at the Inward Investment Ambassadors' Launch Lunch held at Bruisyard Hall.

Business leaders from across the county attended the official launch of the Suffolk Inward Investment Ambassadors (IIA) network which encourages leading figures within the local economy to play their part in encouraging businesses from elsewhere to invest in the county.

The initiative, which aims to recruit 100 high-profile individuals, involves a partnership between Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, with council leader Colin Noble and chamber chief executive John Dugmore among the speakers at the lauch.

“The Business Ambassadors programme will bring together people who are passionate about living and working in Suffolk.” said Mr Dugmore. “We are delighted to have so many business leaders wishing to be ambassadors who are willing to use their skills and expertise to champion our county as a top business location.”

The IIA programme forms part of Invest in Suffolk which was launched by Suffolk County Council in 2013 to promote the county as a business location.

Mr Noble said: “I was delighted to be able to take part in the launch of the Inward Investment Ambassador programme.

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“A strong and vibrant business community is critical for the future growth and success of Suffolk and it was great to see such a cross section of business people at the event.

“Companies want to hear from other successful businesses so the ambassadors are really important in helping us attract new investment to the county.”

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Also speaking at the event, held at Bruisyard Hall, near Framlingham, were Martin Kent, deputy director, global operations at UK Trade & Investment, and Andy Wood, chief executive at Suffolk brewer Adnams, who is among those to have signed up to the scheme to become an ambassador.

Here are the views of just some of the ambassador’s sign up so far on what is good about doing business in Suffolk:

Erika Clegg, co-founder and creative director, Spring: Suffolk is just a hop and a skip from London, but also intrinsically linked with the continent, through our heritage and our geography. Being located in Suffolk supports Spring’s position as an international business, hence you will find a compelling mix of regional and global brands on our client list. And of course, Suffolk allows Spring’s staff to enjoy a quality of life that many other places would not. From the quality of our locally produced food and drink, to the purity of the air we breathe, Suffolk inspires health and well-being.

Paul Clement, chief executive, Ipswich Central: It is the most wonderful county. It provides a rich tapestry of multiple business types, incredible links to beyond and all against a stunning rural backdrop.

William Coe, managing director, Coes: Suffolk has the beauty of space yet is well connected to London and the Midlands.

Andrew Denny, director, Denny Bros Group: Suffolk provides a low cost base but is within easy reach of London, the main UK international airports, the major port of Felixstowe and the Cambridge technology centre. It also provides a very stable workforce. Furthermore, it is a nice place to live, which makes it easier to recruit experienced people from further afield.

Viv Gillespie, principal, Suffolk New College: Lots of forward thinking companies who take skills seriously and are planning for the future. Good location for “life” and business.

Lina Hogg, founder and chair, Picasso HR: Suffolk has everything it needs to create successful businesses; – international port, university with a pipeline of talent, good infrastructure and situated just over an hour from London. There is an effective road link to Cambridge and the North. Suffolk is a beautiful place to live and educate children at top private and state schools. The business scene is active and vibrant with a successful Chamber of Commerce and Institute of Directors. Local politicians are enthusiastic in engaging with businesses and are able to represent our views at the highest level at Westminster.

Tom McGarry, head of external affairs, Sizewell C, EDF Energy: The Suffolk and Norfolk coast is the UK’s energy coastline. As well as existing and new nuclearpower, there is offshore oil and gas in the Southern North Sea and major offshore windfarm developments on the horizon. There are huge supply chain and skills opportunities in the sector in a beautiful part of the country.

William Gittus, group property director and managing director, Jockey Club Estates: From the racing industry perspective, Newmarket is the UK’s headquarters of horseracing with world-class facilities and services for breeding, training and racing. More generally, it has good access to London, the Midlands and the North, Europe and further afield, combined with a good quality of life.

Paul Glasswell, managing director, Glasswells: Suffolk is a stable employment area where you will find a well-educated, committed and hardworking workforce, with very low levels of absenteeism.

Minnie Moll, executive officer - membership and marketing, East of England Co-op: We have an incredibly thriving food and drink industry in Suffolk. Being such an important county for agriculture means there are strong links between farming, producing, retail and restaurants and leisure. We also have a tourist economy which sees an uplift in sales for our coastal stores in particular.

Mark Parker, managing director, global services centres, Willis: Suffolk offers us a high quality and diverse pool of talent whilst retaining great connectivity to London, which is the heart of the world’s insurance industry.

Alan Prickett, managing director, Ransomes Jacobsen: The proximity to London and Cambridge by road and rail; excellent deep-sea port facilities close-by at Felixstowe and Harwich; international air links via Stansted, Luton and London City Airports, plus excellent further and higher education establishments in the immediate area. We also greatly appreciate the help and support given to us by the Chamber of Commerce, Ipswich Borough Council, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Alan Ridealgh, group managing director, Muntons: Rural setting yet close to London and major airports. Ideal for raw material supplies. Proximity of Felixstowe for exports.

Lynn Walters, director, Pure Resourcing Solutions: We are fortunate to have a very strong, supportive business community in Suffolk that actively supports and encourages each other. There is such a breadth of businesses in Suffolk from innovative technology businesses, engineering companies, food and drink, financial services and tourism. We also have a great heritage and many family-owned businesses, as well as lots of SMEs and some global brands too, so there really is a rich diversity. The region provides a diverse, strong pool of talent with London being close enough to commute, great career opportunities in Suffolk will always be a pull for talented people.

Andy Wood, chief executive, Adnams: It is a terrific location that is mainly rural although does have an urban element to it. My own business is located on the coastline and this is integral to our own brand story and proposition.

: : For futher details on the Suffolk Inward Investment Ambassadors scheme, contact Lorna Laycock, economic development officer at Suffolk County Council –

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