Government industrial strategy needed say Rugby businesses

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The next Government must set out a strategy for growth – and Rugby firms must be ready to take advantage, a business meeting has heard.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its latest Rugby Local Business Forum at Valiant Serviced Offices and heard from Rugby MP Mark Pawsey.

Mr Pawsey, who will step down as MP at the next General Election, said there was plenty to be positive about in the town and surrounding borough and believes it can benefit from new markets at home and abroad.

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He said: “I’d like to see the next Government really commit to an industrial strategy. I understand that Governments, sometimes, will make the argument that they don’t want to pick winners, as it were.

Mark Pawsey MP and Karen Shuter (front and centre) with members of the Local Business ForumMark Pawsey MP and Karen Shuter (front and centre) with members of the Local Business Forum
Mark Pawsey MP and Karen Shuter (front and centre) with members of the Local Business Forum

“But if a strategy is set out, businesses know what to invest in and what skills are going to be required.

“As part of my role on the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee, I have seen the huge amount of work that is taking place to update the energy system in this country.

“I also sit on the Business & Trade Committee and believe there is much more we can do to sell UK companies overseas. While Brexit has brought challenges in some areas, it has also given us the opportunity to do trade deals elsewhere in the world.

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“The transition to net zero and trading overseas have to be two big drivers for economic growth and I believe this region can take advantage of both of those to help grow our economy.”

Karen Shuter, chair of the Rugby Local Business Forum, said: “The Chamber is very much in favour of an industrial strategy.

“Businesses want to invest in skills and technology with knowledge and certainty of which direction the country is heading.

“And, on international trade, there is no question that we need more businesses to be exporting as it’s absolutely vital to economic growth. And, it’s not just manufacturers, we want more service-based businesses to look at overseas trade as a viable option for growth.”

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Karen added: “We are grateful to Mark for, once again, listening to the voice of business and I’d urge other companies in the borough to find out more about the Chamber’s Rugby Local Business Forum and to get involved.”

For more information on Local Business Forums in Coventry and Warwickshire contact Sean Rose at [email protected]