OP holds first business breakfast of 2010

Opportunity Peterborough held the first of its 2010 Business Partner Breakfasts on Thursday 25 March at the Bull Hotel, Peterborough, opened by John Bridge OBE, Chairman of Opportunity Peterborough, who welcomed the audience of nearly 100 business partners.

These events are organised by OP staff members Bill Agnew, Business Liaison Executive and Patricia Taylor, Inward Investment Assistant and on this occasion, attendees were treated to a foray of guest speakers and informative presentations, as well as a buffet breakfast. The quarterly meetings are offered to subscribed members of the OP Business Partner Scheme and provide a great networking opportunity for members to liaise with each other and keep up-to-date with the latest news and progress within Peterborough’s business community.

Patricia said: ‘We had an excellent turnout with almost 100 business partners eager to hear what the presenters had to say about the forthcoming city business awards and other high profile projects. Although the event was scheduled to close at 9am it was heartening to see so many people networking well after this time. On this occasion, we have emailed questionnaires to all attendees and look forward to hearing their views on the various topics of speakers, presentations, value of events, etc. The results will give us every opportunity to enhance the breakfasts in order to attract further members to the scheme and ultimately lead to a more diverse business audience.’

Editor of the Evening Telegraph (ET), Mark Edwards, kicked off the morning with a talk on the ET Business Awards, detailing the various categories and benefits of the annual event and confirming that Roger Black would be presenting the awards on the night, planned for the 19th November.

Following on from Mark, Hugh Cripps, Chief Executive of PECT, touched on the imminent launch of “Investors in the Environment”, a new environmental accreditation scheme that will provide a simple and effective framework for businesses to reduce their environmental impact and save money. This is another step towards the city’s aim of becoming the Environmental Capital of the UK.

Guests also heard from Trevor Gibson, Director of Environmental Capital at Opportunity Peterborough on the exciting, new IBM Smart Cities project that is being developed and launched in Peterborough – one of only 17 selected “smart” cities in the world – driving it towards a long term sustainable future. The collaboration is between Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council, IBM, Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures and will initially focus on building a new online platform to display, monitor and analyse data on Peterborough’s enviro-cluster, energy and water with transport and waste systems data to follow. For further information visit the Opportunity Peterborough website.

A presentation on University Centre Peterborough was given by the Academic Director, Paul McDermott, who also expressed hopes of increased collaboration between the University and local companies. The 3,000 square metre education building is a joint venture between the local Regional College and Anglia Ruskin University and features a 92-seat lecture theatre, a range of multi-purpose seminar and teaching rooms, state of the art computer suites and laboratories, student social areas and a planned café.

Paul outlined the variety of current courses including BA (Hons) History and Sociology, Bsc (Hons) Accounting and Finance and BA (Hons) Journalism. There are also a wide range of courses planned for validation for delivery in 2010 through to 2012.

Tim Martin, OP’s Head of PR & Communications, finished off the morning with a presentation on the city marketing brand, the OP website and also discussed plans for a much closer relationship between the business community and OP. Commenting on the business breakfast he said;
“The business breakfasts that OP organises are a fantastic way to bring together companies in the city to hear about the developments Opportunity Peterborough and its partners are making to deliver economic growth and promote the city. We heard how Peterborough is being put on the map internationally through the ground breaking work that the Smarter Cities projects have achieved and some of the great ventures that the city is currently promoting”.

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