Neil Brierley BSc FRICS
Cardiff Capital Region Business Council
The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) is committed to improving the co-ordination of local and national business arrangements. This includes working in partnership with the Welsh Government to address identified barriers to growth, support spatial and sectoral priorities, and target emerging opportunities for driving economic performance. For this purpose, the CCR Cabinet is working closely with the CCR Business Council. The latter is responsible for articulating the regional needs of business, identifying regional priorities for existing business support services, and designing future business support programmes. Key responsibilities include:
- Engage and influence Welsh Government and Local Government policy on a variety of topics such as skills, transport infrastructure, business support and the engagement of the local business community;
- Share knowledge and and best practice, exchange with peers and leading figures in the business and academic community, fostering regional innovation initiatives and collaboration;
- Offer networking opportunities and the ability to foster local supply chains;
- Scrutinise and critique the plan and strategy, as well as aspects of delivery, of the CCR Economic Growth Partnership (EGP) and provide advice and input to the EGP on a range of issues facing the region;
- Through the EGP, maintain an active link with Welsh Government and Local Authority programmes, including business support, transport and infrastructure;
- When necessary, commission research and share with partners, on market trends and commercial opportunities that support the prosperity, jobs and growth imperatives;
- Advocate proactive investment in the region and be able to use the CCR branding, marketing collateral and key messages;
- Work with the EGP on external events and promotion of the CCR in the UK and abroad;
- Limit its marketing and communications activity to that of the CCR Business Council itself, but actively support the wider marketing plan of the CCR;
- Be visible, free and encouraged to communicate on issues affecting its membership, providing its membership with the confidence it is acting on their behalf.
The CCR Business Council also works in collaboration with the Integrated Delivery Unit, to ensure that any new business support provision complements existing national initiatives and avoid duplication. Members of the CCR Business Council’s Board are active members of the business community, whose daily activities expose them to genuine commercial issues and market trends. They are either elected to serve the bodies that they represent (Institute of Directors, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, and South Wales Chamber of Commerce) or appointed against a key set of skills. The role of the Board will be to drive the business of the CCR Business Council, identify key areas of intervention, support the CCR EGP in the delivery of its strategic plan, provide comprehensive advice, and challenge and scrutiny. The Board may also delegate activities to genuine task and finish groups as appropriate. These groups would work in a collegiate manner bringing in people with the appropriate skills to address issues as they arise. The CCR Business Council is always looking for successful business leaders, CEOs, directors or successful entrepreneurs from sectors that have the potential to drive or support the drive for economic growth in the region.