First Business Festival tempts top trade events

Bury Festival''The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Conference - 'Open for business'. Helping to grow jobs with national business leaders speaking
Bury Festival''The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Conference - 'Open for business'. Helping to grow jobs with national business leaders speaking
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EAST Anglia is set to benefit from a boom in green technologies, the chairman of New Anglia has said.

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams brewery, was speaking at the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s first conference, held at The Apex as part of Bury St Edmunds’ Business Festival last Thursday.

Business festival 2011 - The Exhibition of advanced manufacturing and engineering in the Apex, and also the Start-up bus.

Business festival 2011 - The Exhibition of advanced manufacturing and engineering in the Apex, and also the Start-up bus.

Mr Wood told delegates that the five-month old LEP had been chosen by Government to be a Green Pathfinder. After the conference he said a New Anglia team had met representatives of the departments for energy, environment, local government and business innovation.

“It’s almost the first time four government departments have come together in this way,” he said. “They were at one with New Anglia becoming a Green Pathfinder. We’re going to be at the forefront of the low carbon economy.

“We’ve got some fine examples of sustainability in business in Suffolk.”

Mr Woods said EDF Energy had spoken at the conference on the jobs its Sizewell development would create throughout the supply chain and he said offshore windfarms would bring similar benefits. “It’s not just for coastal towns, it’s for the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk,” he added. “West Suffolk College is working on courses on sustainability and renewable energy so we’re already seeing signs of what is to come.”

He believes New Anglia has got off to a good start and that the conference, called Open for Business, was a success with about 250 delegates.

The Business Festival also helped Bury catch the bus before Cambridge.

The David Cameron-backed Startup Britain Bus was booked to appear in Cambridge but its venue had not been confirmed, so Menta chief executive Alex Till decided to offer them the chance to come to Bury, which was the bus’s only East Anglian stop in a nationwide tour.

Bus spokeswoman Lorna Bladon said: “The reason we’re in Suffolk is because of the Business Festival. We thought it would be good to tie in with it.”

The bus and Startup Britain organisation are sponsored by eight businesspeople to encourage new entrepreneurs. It has been touring with a variety of business advisers to help those starting new ventures, which have ranged from ice cream to left-handed pens.

“We want to inspire people and give the confidence that they’re not the only start up in their area,” Ms Bladon said.

She said the next step would be to set up local organisations working with existing groups like Menta.

More details can be found at www.startupbritain.org.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s leader John Griffiths said the festival had been ‘a wonderful event for West Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds’.

“The businesses that have attended have put in a lot and I hope will get a lot out,” he said. “It has shown how many things local businesses do.

“The Apex has enabled us to accommodate these prestigious events and many people who have come here say they will return to enjoy the many things the town has to offer.”

The Business Festival closes with an Ickworth House finale this afternoon at which details of the new Bury Free Press Business Awards 2012 will be announced.