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Gloucestershire Business News

Employers’ groups join forces to strengthen regional voice

Business West has joined with five leading employers' groups to create a new alliance.

The alliance will strengthen cooperation and drive growth across different parts of the country, working together to leverage each region's particular strengths.

The Growing Together Alliance will be chaired by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and also includes BusinessLDN, Business South, Business West, Cambridge Ahead and the North West Business Leadership Team.

A key area of focus will be driving place-based economic strategy to boost regional productivity and good growth, including by strengthening innovation, spatial planning and foreign direct investment.

The alliance accelerates and formalises the existing collaboration between these groups. The six organisations maintain their independence, but have united to drive forward their shared belief that transformational, sustainable and inclusive growth requires regional collaboration and tailored economic strategies, which recognise each region's unique contribution.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, said: "UK plc needs all cylinders of its engine working in concert. This alliance of regional private sector groups can work with our publicly elected bodies and public private partnerships, for example the Western Gateway, to strengthen our approach to delivering economic benefits for the whole of the country.

"Devolution will be a central plank of any future Government's approach to growth and harnessing the insights and power of the private sector is vital to maximising its potential."

Henri Murison, chief executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and chair of the Growing Together Alliance, said: "Fixing the UK's productivity challenge cannot be done successfully from Whitehall, and our businesses and universities across the regions of the nation know what the barriers are - from poor connectivity to underinvestment in R&D.

"We need a sustained partnership with the next Government and their successors to grow the whole country, together, in the national interest."

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