The Devon & Cornwall Business Council (DCBC) has today (Friday 9th March) announced that it will be rebranded as the South West Business Council (SWBC).
Building on the success of the industry-backed Great South West initiative, SWBC will continue to work on behalf of the region to encourage business connections within the South West, whilst building the profile of the region and forging strategic alliances with regional and international partners.
A number of new strategic alliances with organisations across the West Midlands, London and South East of the UK, and in Europe, will be announced shortly, in addition to a new partnership with Business Forum South West.
Formed in 2001, as a significant economic partnership for Devon and Cornwall, DCBC has a history of working closely with businesses, their representative groups and public-sector organisations across the wider region and this is set to continue and grow with the new branding.
With the support of key backers of the Great South West initiative, including Pennon Group and the CBI, the South West Business Council has established itself as the strategic voice for business, focused on raising the profile, the performance and the health of a regional economy worth over £31 billion a year.
In response to South West business needs and the opportunities and challenges in local, regional, national and international markets, the South West Business Council has identified a set of priorities which will inform its policies and the work of the Special Interest Groups over the next twelve months.
These priorities reflect the world-leading research and innovation of the South West, including aerospace, microelectronics, energy generation, environmental and digital technologies.
Tim Jones, Chair of SWBC said: “I am delighted that DCBC, which has been established for nearly 20 years, has, after extensive consultation, unanimously agreed with all our key stakeholders to embark upon this new branding exercise.
“In addition to taking on this new name we are also expanding our networks through a series of strategic partnerships to be announced over the coming months. The impact of this will enable the SWBC to more effectively support the Great South West economy, assist in improving productivity levels, increase our influence in Whitehall and extend our network to a number of international opportunities. Our role is to amplify the single voice for all businesses across the South West.”
Dr Robin Daniels, Chief Executive of the SWBC, said: “We’re very excited to be embarking on the next stage of our journey as the South West Business Council, building on the momentum established by the ‘Great South West’ initiative. As business people and innovators, we see that new opportunities are forged through partnerships that span cities and regions, sectors and markets. This is our mission: to create new opportunities for organisations of all sizes and from all sectors across the region and, as a region, to take our products and services to global markets.”
Susan Davy, Chief Financial Officer, Pennon Group PLC & South West Chair, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said: “The Great South West initiative successfully galvanized support around a shared vision for an ambitious, growing and outward focused region.
“We are delighted that the South West Business Council is continuing to provide strategic leadership by supporting the further development and promotion of a regional brand, backed up with an energetic and practical agenda for the promotion of businesses from across the South West on the national and international stage.”
Dr Stephen Bird, Operations Director, South West Water Ltd, said: “The South West Business Council is providing a very welcome fresh impetus to the Great South West initiative, a hugely important activity for the region. We look forward to working closely with SWBC and its growing membership to find new opportunities, encourage new partnerships and bring fresh investment, prosperity and growth to this already great region.”
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director at Great Western Railway, said: “It is great to see business in the South West thriving and coming together to maximise opportunities for economic growth in this way. Great Western Railway looks forward to working with the South West Business Council across our Western region. We are committed to supporting the communities we serve and we will use our investment in new trains to help boost the Great South West Initiative.”
Chris Marrow, Chairman of Business Forum South West, said: “By working closely with SWBC, we see an opportunity to harmonise our significant networks and capabilities across the region, for ever greater benefit to companies of all sizes and from all sectors”.