Prestigious speakers announced for major South West business conference on region’s role in powering up the UK economy 


Leading figures from business, politics and academia to spotlight why  the South West matters to the UK economy

The ‘Delivering for the UK’ conference taking place on 13 September at Sandy Park in Exeter has announced the first set of leading speakers and panellists, who will be showcasing the national importance of the Great South West region and why it matters to the future success of the UK economy. 

It will be the first major event in the region following the general election, and provides the ideal platform to hear about the plans of the new Government and what the South West can do to shape its agenda. 

The event will convene national and regional business leaders, newly elected MPs,  political figures, academics and other experts to spotlight the region’s role in driving UK economic growth. The conference will highlight the critical importance of the South West’s world-class energy, defence and food sectors in driving national and international investment opportunities, powering the transition to a net-zero economy and creating new, well-paid jobs across the region for local communities.

National broadcaster, Daisy McAndrew, will be compering the event, facilitating discussions on how the South West’s strengths in energy, defence, manufacturing, food production, and technology and science can lead the UK and shift the needle on economic growth and prosperity.

Daisy said: “As someone who has spent decades reporting on the intersection of politics, business, and the economy, I’m excited to be compering at this important conference spotlighting the South West’s role in driving the UK’s future prosperity. It will be a fantastic opportunity to hear more about the new Government’s plans, and what newly elected MPs will be doing to promote the region in Westminster. I look forward to facilitating insightful discussions on how the region’s unique strengths can power investment, innovation and growth across critical sectors that underpin the UK’s security, and the shift to a net zero economy.”

Among the key features at the conference will be the launch of the Great South West Independent Economic Review, which will provide a blueprint for driving investment and growth across the South West. There will also be a panel featuring Great South West Board members Karl Tucker (Chair, Great South West Partnership and Yeo Valley), Clive Higgins (Chair and CEO, Leonardo UK) and Cllr Linda Taylor (Leader, Cornwall Council), which will explore the South West’s world-leading industries and why they are primed for national and international investment. 

The conference will also feature an MP panel of newly elected parliamentarians, who will be discussing how we make Westminster work for the South West. 

Karl Tucker commented: “We have unrivalled strengths that position the Great South West to play a pivotal national role as the UK transitions to a net zero economy. This conference will demonstrate why the region is fundamental to the country’s security, resilience and prosperity, and make sure our opportunities are seized by the new Government, to deliver for the UK economy.”

Cornwall Space Cluster and Leonardo UK are the Headline Partners supporting the event. Gail Eastaugh, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Cornwall Space Cluster, said: “We are proud to sponsor the Great South West conference, an event that aligns perfectly with our mission to drive investment and innovation in the region. Cornwall Space Cluster is committed to fostering economic growth and developing cutting-edge solutions in critical sectors. Our collaboration with the Great South West underscores our dedication to ensuring that the region’s immense potential is recognised on both national and international stages.”

Clive Higgins, Chair & CEO of Leonardo UK, commented: “I am seeing great developments in the South West, which are helping support and kick start the local economy as we take a renewed focus on industrial capabilities, networks, and its people within the region. The South West is the UK’s natural powerhouse and the Great South West is focussing its priorities in alignment with the Government for better transportation investment, attracting people to the region, which, in turn, will enhance skills and productivity and so much more.

“The upcoming Annual Conference will allow industry, businesses, and thought leaders to come together to share and shape the ground-breaking vision of the Great South West. To encourage more companies and businesses, we need to shout louder and prouder than ever before on what we do, and why this is such a good place to be, from the aerospace and engineering sectors to energy.”

Tickets for the ‘Delivering for the UK’ conference on September 13th in Exeter are available at: 

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