Today (Friday 20th October) is the launch of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s official Manufacturing Campaign: Making the Future.
The event marks the beginning of an 18-month campaign which will focus on five key areas for Black Country manufacturers.
The campaign is business-led and evidence-based and will include a multitude of activities for businesses to become heavily involved.
It will be delivered in partnership with Shropshire-based solicitors, FBC Manby Bowdler.
The campaign will cover a range of issues which were identified by Black Country businesses as potential barriers to growth, including but not limited to Brexit, skills, increased innovation and automation, intensified strategic collaboration and the reliability of power.
Due to the rich manufacturing heritage of the Black Country, and the opportunities to seize on future opportunities, Chamber believes the campaign is extremely important for the region.
Confirmed speakers for the event include Trevor Leeks, operations director at Jaguar Land Rover, and Dr Adam Marshall, director general at the British Chambers of Commerce.
As the Black Country Chamber sets out its vision for local manufacturing, British negotiators are similarly striving for clarity and productive discussions in Brussels.
As negotiations continue in Belgium, the British side is willing their EU counterparts to begin trade talks which will provide business with some much-needed policy objectives.
They have been given hope in the form of a letter from Donald Tusk, outlining that trade discussions could begin as early as December.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “The economy of the Black Country is built on making and mining things.
“Since the Industrial Revolution, whenever there has been a step change in technology, the Black Country has been at the fore.
“There are dozens of examples of great local businesses across the Black Country who are already embracing this new world.
“There is huge excitement across the region, as well as a realistic approach to how we overcome a variety of challenges.
“As a Chamber of Commerce, we look forward to working with businesses of all shapes and sizes on a variety of policy issues over the next 18-months.”
The Black Country Chamber is 1 of 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce and represents around 1,500 businesses who employ over 67,500 employees across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
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