50 business attend Business Networking Event at Soulton Hall

Representatives from 50 businesses in the Wem area attended a Breakfast Networking Event at Soulton Hall.

Hosted by Shropshire Council this event allowed representatives from the council to consult to local businesses and share news about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support the set up of a networking group in the Wem area, whilst enjoyed a full-cooked breakfast by the family at Soulton Hall.

Cllr Dean Carroll (Portfolio Holder for Growth, Regeneration and Housing) welcomed everyone to the meeting followed by Tracy Woods (Senior Key Accounts and Investment Officer in the SC Economic Growth Team) who shared with those present the outline details of the Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) that comes as part of HM Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

Two speakers were then introduced from local businesses. They explained why they were doing operating their business here and highlighted some of the issues they have come across as they play their part in improving the local economy:

  • Callum McCarthy from Wem’s ‘Warbling Tit’ a hospitality business he recently set up in the town building on his being landlord of the Dickin Arms in Noble Street. He is very optimistic about trading here and currently planning for a third business in the town.
  • Elwyn Griffiths from Oakland Farm Eggs, a long established and very large and successful agricultural business in Wem Rural. His topic was ‘Future-proofing your business’, building on the successful start made by his father, he shared the challenges they face in wanting to remain local as the firm has grown.

Then followed a lively discussion chaired by Tracy Woods involving Cllr Carroll hearing the views/experiences and ideas from other businesses who had come along. There was a general consensus and appetite from businesses to continue to meet in this way to build upon the momentum, emerging ideas and possibilities generated from this networking event. Consequently feedback is now being sought from those who attended by the Economic Growth Team at Shropshire Council as preparations are made for them to meet again in the next month or so with the Wem Economic Forum Planning Group, that has representatives from Wem Town Council and Wem Rural Parish Council. The aim of this partnership is to establish this Shropshire pilot ‘Market Towns’ project that aims to build a better infrastructure for businesses to co-operate in here in North Shropshire, and so live by Shropshire’s motto – Floreat Salopia…that is ‘may Shropshire fluorish’!

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