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Brexit-eve conference will discuss challenges and opportunities

On the eve of the original Article 50 deadline for leaving the EU next week, award-winning East Midlands Chamber will be staging a conference for sectors likely to be hardest hit by Brexit.


The Chamber’s Manufacturing and Engineering Conference will explore the challenges ahead and the opportunities that will enable the East Midlands to continue to lead and drive the sectors forward, both in the UK and beyond.


Ian Bates, the Chamber’s Sector Forums Manager, said: “Major changes in the political and economic landscape are continuing across the world, with 2019 showing no sign of respite.


“Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2019 Manufacturing and Engineering Conference will examine the latest thinking, policy and projections for the sector in the East Midlands.


“With the theme of Future Growth, we will examine key topics aimed at supporting the sector whatever the future holds.”


As the country looks to develop a vision for future success, aligning to the five areas for growth and the four ‘grand challenges’ in the Governments Industrial Strategy, the conference will bring together leaders and keynote speakers from across the sector.


Topics on the agenda include finance and investment, skills and productivity, technology, innovation and digital transformation, policy and strategy.


Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber will lead the conference.


Keynote speakers include Paul Smith - Area Director, Commercial Banking (Leicestershire) Lloyds Bank, Alex Williams - Deputy Director for the Industrial Strategy, Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy  (BEIS), Dominic Judge - Director of charity Education and Employers, Professor Tracy Bhamra - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), Loughborough University, and Michele Metcalfe - Regional Head (Wales, The Midlands and East of England), Vodafone Regional Business.


There will be two panel discussions on the day. The first on finance, skills and Government policy, and the second on Future Growth in a changing landscape, covering both Brexit and technological advances.


Panellists on the first discussion will include Tony Carr - UK Operations Manager, Caterpillar, Paul Smith, Sandra Wiggins - Director, DPI UK and Dominic Judge.


The second panel will comprise Joe Darlington - Chief Engineer, Digital Engineering, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Leigh Hunt - City Development Manager CityFibre and Professor Bhamra.


The East Midlands Manufacturing and Engineering Conference takes place from 8.30am on Thursday 28 March at The Manufacturing Technology Centre, Ansty Park, Coventry.


For further information or to book places, visit