Significance of Silverstone Technology Cluster recognised by finance and business community
15 July 2016
The Silverstone Technology Cluster report, which outlines a cluster of high-tech engineering businesses in the area surrounding Silverstone Park, has been praised by the finance and business community at a breakfast symposium in London.
The report confirms that there is an area of highly-skilled businesses and individuals with untapped potential within an hour of Silverstone. This cluster of high-tech engineering businesses gives the UK the potential to be the leading export economy in new and emerging fields – a direct answer to the country’s decreasing reliance on traditional manufacturing.
The purpose of the symposium was to launch the report to the wider business and finance community and provide the audience with an opportunity to understand the Cluster’s evolution and what impact the report will have on the surrounding area in the immediate future.
Speakers at the event included:
- Jon Corbett, Head of Corporate and Business Banking at Barclays (Beds, Bucks & Northants)
- Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park
- James Dipple, CEO at MEPC
- Kieron Salter, Managing Director at KW Special Projects
- Stephen Catchpole, Chief Executive at the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP)
- Stephen Smith, Partner at PwC
The event was hosted by one of the report’s key sponsors, Barclays, at its Canary Wharf HQ. John Corbett discussed the opportunity to create a vibrant cluster around technology and engineering businesses that supports and recognises future growth potential and innovation. MEPC’s James Dipple reflected on the evidence within the report that supports further investment as part of the Cluster’s long-term growth plan and positioning to become a globally significant entity.
Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park for MEPC, said: “The Silverstone Technology Cluster report recognises the untapped potential of businesses within the Cluster, making it an attractive proposition for investors.
“The next step is for an organisation to be established to drive opportunities forward. We see this as a ‘Cluster Organisation’ that will provide businesses with the leverage and platform to successfully grow and give investors the commitment and forward-looking business models required to consider future investment. Silverstone Park and its partners remain committed to enhancing the profile of the Cluster on a global level.”
As a business innovating and developing products within the Cluster, KWSP’s Kieron Salter stated that the report has helped his business identify as part of a cluster. He said: “With a cluster name comes identity followed by brand and then values, all of which help the businesses within the Cluster to talk to investors and customers.”
Stephen Catchpole and Stephen Smith concluded the speaker line-up. SEMLEP believes that the Silverstone Technology Cluster not only has the potential to be economically significant for the East Midlands region, but also on a wider, more global scale. Meanwhile PwC recognises the importance of innovation and its impact on growth, as well as the need for a network that supports entrepreneurs on their growth trajectory.
The Cluster report findings were well-received by the packed room of investors. A lively Q&A session concluded the event, focusing on how to drive the Cluster forward and avenues for investment.
Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UK Business Angels Association, enthused: “We are keen to raise awareness among the investment community about the Silverstone Technology Cluster and look forward to working with MEPC, Barclays and all the key players in the area to identify and build a community of angel and early stage investors around this rich source of exciting innovative, growth-potential businesses.”
Her comments followed those of Sajid Javid MP, then-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills who, following publication of the report, said: “The Silverstone Technology Cluster is at the forefront of global technological innovation, skilled at solving engineering problems and delivering solutions. It is an exemplary haven and one where young engineers can get the training they need to become the best in the world.”
The report has been commissioned by MEPC, asset manager and developer of Silverstone Park on behalf of Hermes Investment Management, with partners PwC and Barclays. It has been authored by SQW, the highly respected economic and social development research firm.
CLICK HERE to order a copy of the full Cluster report, its executive summary and a publication of business case studies that were carried out as part of SQW’s research.