Businesses and MP working to improve investment in Warwickshire - The Stratford Observer
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19th Aug, 2022

Businesses and MP working to improve investment in Warwickshire

Ian Hughes 5th Jan, 2017

THE THREE Ps were on the agenda when MP Nadhim Zahawi met with local business representatives.

The south Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce organised the session with the Stratford MP at town-based Pashley Cycles – and property, power and people were the main talking points.

The Chamber is currently looking at the shortage of employment land and how it could hinder investment, and the meeting heard about the work it is undertaking to ensure that more sites are brought forward across the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

Larry Coltman, chair of the branch, said Mr Zahawi was fully aware of the issue, and was happy to work with the Chamber to broker a solution.

He added: “The Chamber has formed a working party to look at the issue, which is the single biggest impediment to growth in our area.

“We have assembled a team of experts who are investigating the problem across our area and looking to work to help resolve what we believe is a serious threat to on-going investment.

“Local plans across our authorities are at different stages of gestation, and while there has been a massive focus on housing numbers, employment land has been gobbled up at an increasing rate.

“As a region, we have everything going for us, but if there is not the potential for our local companies to grow and sites available for inward investors then we will stagnate and we simply cannot afford to let that happen.

“We made sure that Nadhim was fully aware of how important we view the problem and that it is something we need to work on as a region, and that might well mean lobbying ministers to ensure land is re-designated and action is taken.

“There are a great many factors in our favour at the moment – many of which may not reoccur – and we need to be in a position to make the most of them.”

The shortage of skilled labour in some areas and a lack of power capacity to new sites were also discussed.

Mr Coltman said: “Nadhim has always maintained a close working relationship with the Chamber and the local business community and is prepared to use his links to help us ensure that the issue of land supply is at the top of the local authorities’ agendas. “He also brought us up to speed on the plans for Brexit and how he feels that will evolve in 2017 once it starts in earnest.”

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