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Enterprise and Innovation Centre at Nottingham Trent University

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UK business pioneers speak at D2N2’s 2018 Annual Conference

Around 130 delegates attended the 2018 D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Annual Conference this morning (July 24) - which welcomed new D2N2 Chair Elizabeth Fagan, currently Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots .

Guest speakers at the event at the Nottingham Contemporary gallery included Karen Smart, Managing Director of East Midlands Airport; Josh Rathour, Founder and CEO of international student discount service UNiDAYS (picturedspeaking at event); and Max Vaughan, founder of Derbyshire-based whisky distillery the White Peak Distillery.

Delegates included senior representatives from companies of all sizes, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and voluntary services organisations, and others.

Businesses attending included Cloud Cars, GF Tomlinson Group, Innes England, Rolls-Royce Plc, Tarmac Trading Ltd, Turner & Townsend and the Woodhead Group. Business support organisations present included the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), the Department for International Trade, Invest in Nottingham and Marketing Derby.

D2N2 is the private-sector led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, community groups and social enterprises, and other organisations which promotes economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Today’s event saw Peter Richardson OBE step down from the role of D2N2 Chair, which he assumed in November 2012, and Elizabeth Fagan, currently also Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots, succeed him. Elizabeth told delegates she looked forward to the challenges ahead.

The audience heard how the LEP is supporting jobs creation, promoting skills and helping create the infrastructure needed to grow the economy of its area. It is doing this through a wide range of business support programmes, funding and major investment; made possible through its access to more than £500million worth of public sector funding, via the UK Government and European Union.

Interim Chief Executive Matt Wheatley (pictured directly above) told the audience how that funding had enabled major projects in the D2N2 LEP area to go ahead. Examples include the £16.4m Derby Silk Mill museum refurbishment, receiving £3.7m via D2N2’s Local Growth Fund (LGF) allocation, and D2N2 awarding half the funding needed to create the new £58m Nottingham City Hub skills facility for Nottingham College (the groundbreaking ceremony for which took place in June 2018).

He also spoke about the Enterprise Adviser Network, an initiative by the D2N2 and the Government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company; which has so far matched more than 70 volunteer business mentors with D2N2 area schools, with a view to helping widen pupils’ career prospects and opportunities.

Commenting on the Conference, Matt added: “We again saw an excellent turnout for the D2N2 Annual Conference, with delegates representing a very wide range of companies and organisations. I would like to thank today's guest speakers; all from businesses with strong local links, but following different routes to growth and success.

“D2N2 has had a tremendous impact over the last 12 months but we recognise the challenges ahead, not least around Brexit and productivity, and are ready to help the economy meet these in the coming year.”

Today’s Conference also saw the launch of the printed, 16-page D2N2 2017/18 Annual Review. A copy of this can be read online. 

A new video about D2N2’s recent successes, shown at today’s event, can also be viewed on the D2N2 YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

For more information about the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership see its website at  

For further information about this news article contact D2N2 Social Media and Marketing Officer Sam Burbage on 0115 957 8254 or email: