SWBC Quarterly Virtual Conference – Bouncing Forward; New Jobs for a Resurgent Economy


TIME: 9:30 am — 1:00 pm
PRESENTED BY: South West Business Council

This Autumn will see the end of the UK Government’s Furlough scheme, a looming hard-Brexit and the national economy at a 75-year low. For the South West, the challenge of attracting and retaining talent is thrown into sharp relief as new entrants to the job market, 16-24 year olds, are joined by newly redundant over 50s at a time when a number of key regional sectors are facing severe economic stress.

Join us on 11th September to hear from a cross section of national and regional business, NGOs and educational leaders and debate the opportunity that the South West now has to bounce forward; shaping and seizing new markets in the green economy, new digital and business innovations that leverage our strategic assets, attacking global export markets and, above all, re-casting the region as a magnet for talent in a world of work that is being re-defined as we speak.

We are delighted to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be Founder of the Eden Project, Tim Smit – an international thought leader at the forefront of sustainable growth and the visitor economy.

Sir Tim Smit is best known for his achievements in Cornwall. He ‘discovered’ and then restored ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ with John Nelson, which is now one of the UK’s best loved gardens having been named ‘Garden of the Year’ by BBC Countryfile Awards (Mar 2018). Tim’s book ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ won Book of the Year in 1997.

Tim is Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the multi award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. Since its opening in 2001, over 20 million people have come to see a once sterile pit, turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour. Tim is also Executive Co-Chair for Eden Project International which aims to have an Eden Project on every habited continent by 2025.

We will also be joined by Rozzy Amos, Director of London and the South of England at The Prince’s Trust and Damian Dunne, Managing Director of The Barden Corporation.


  • 9.30 – 9:40 Gather and network
  • 9.40 – 9:45 Opening introductions – Robin Daniels, CEO South West Business Council
  • 9.45 – 10:00 Business resilience and future challenges – Tim Jones, Chair South West Business Council
  • 10:00 – 10:20 Recharging our skills base – Laurence Frewin, Principal & CEO / Emily Tucker, Head of Apprenticeships & Employer Engagement, South Devon College | Presentation
  • 10:20 – 10:30 Nurturing talent – Rozzy Amos, Director South Region, The Prince’s Trust | Presentation
  • 10:30 – 10:45 Panel Discussion

10:45 – 11:00 Networking break

  • 11:00 – 11:15 Manufacturing success – Damian Dunne, Managing Director, Barden Corporation | Presentation
  • 11:15 – 11:30 Stimulating entrepreneurship – Joe Pearce, SETsquared / University of Exeter | Presentation
  • 11:30 – 11:50 Panel Discussion

11:50 – 12:15 Networking break

  • 12:15 – 12:35 The future economy of the South West – Sir Tim Smit, The Eden Project
  • 12:35 – 12:45 Q&A
  • 12:45 Closing remarks

Networking until 1:00