‘Super Cluster’ engagement with government next step after inspiring talks
16 April 2019
Successful development of Silverstone Park and the Silverstone Technology Cluster is being used as evidence to demonstrate the type of action that will be needed to help grow the government’s Cambridge-Oxford Arc.
The findings have been presented to representatives from the business and finance community, public and private sectors, education and key industry organisations by the Park’s Commercial Director and STC Chair Roz Bird.
In the first quarter of 2019, Roz appeared before the Society for Motor Manufacturers & Traders and then audiences at Cranfield University’s new Barclays Eagle Lab and the UK Science Park Association’s 2019 Conference (University of Birmingham).
Roz commented: “At Silverstone Park we’ve shown how to attract and retain companies with 98% of all property now let and are now looking ahead to significant new development schemes.
“And with Silverstone Technology Cluster we have added value to companies not just at Silverstone Park, but in the wider region, including setting up several special interest groups (‘SIGs’ – based on the Cambridge Wireless model) which are gathering momentum.
“Only when you start working with the likes of local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), central government, the wider business community, developers, other clusters, education establishments and their students do you realise just what it takes to make a difference.
“The feedback I’m getting – direct approaches on-event or by email or phone later – is that what I’ve said is inspiring people to get involved, understand where they fit in and how they can contribute to maximising the potential for economic growth of the area.”
She added: “While I call the Arc a high-tech ‘Super Cluster’, it is not just about high-tech activity; it’s about all the business opportunities – the multiplier effect – across the region.
“The long term development of the area is going to need the public and private sectors to work together with central government and should then enable business growth.”
Roz also outlined the next steps for Silverstone Park and the STC in the Arc’s development.
She continued: “We are conscious that government is going to appoint a minister for the Arc as well as a business chair and board which will help work through the opportunities with the LEPs, universities and local authorities.
“Therefore in the coming months we will begin to engage with those individuals to ensure that everything we are doing at Silverstone Park and with the Silverstone Technology Cluster is considered and that the companies we work with and represent are able to maximise the opportunity.”