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Lord Hutton to lead new business voice for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Former Business Secretary Lord Hutton is to become the first Chair of the newly formed Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum – the new voice of Cornish business. 

The new Forum, which will launch formally in June, will embed a strong, independent, and diverse local business voice for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly at the heart of local and national Government. 

The new Forum will provide strategic challenge and business advocacy to Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly, influencing business policy, and empowering the private sector to assist in determining economic strategies and interventions, shaping investment and better aligning workforce and skills provision influencing policy makers and investors at local, national, and international levels to promote economic growth in the region.  

Under the chairmanship of Lord Hutton, who brings a wealth of experience in economic growth, critical connections and a passion for ensuring the future success of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly,  the Forum will reach out to the Duchy’s business, opinion formers and policy makers to develop and promote a strong and stable economy in the region, ensuring Cornwall’s businesses can thrive locally as well as working together to attract inward investment. 

It will play a crucial role in ensuring that Cornwall achieves its goals and provides a coordinated voice for the private sector to inform and influence the shape and future direction of economic policy, as well as helping to identify and shape the skills that will be needed to ensure Cornwall’s future workforce can benefit from the job opportunities being created in new and emerging sectors.  

Addressing the Annual General Meeting, Cornwall Council, Leader, Linda Taylor said: “Having a voice in Westminster is so important, and to have Lord Hutton, who is respected across the political spectrum, fighting Cornwall’s corner is fantastic news for our business community. 

“The first order of business for the Forum will be the endorsement of Cornwall’s new 10-year economic strategy which will set an ambitious private sector powered trajectory for growth until 2035. 

“We are at the forefront of so many growing areas of industry, from the exciting development of lithium mining and the exciting announcement of £53m of UK infrastructure bank investment into creating a supply of lithium to Europe from Cornwall, through to our spaceport, and from our growing creative sector to tourism we have a wonderful story to tell, and this will help us to do just that.”  

Robert Francis, chair of the Council of the Isles Scilly, welcomed the appointment and the Council are looking forward to working with Lord Hutton in his role as the new chair and in particular having the opportunity to brief him on the unique challenges that the Islands face. 

Laura Whyte, Chair Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said “We are excited by the appointment of Lord John Hutton as the Chair of the new Economic forum, we believe his strong business background, and the ability to ensure Cornwall & Isles of Scilly can be heard in the corridors of Westminster, can only be a positive step in highlighting the great things we are achieving in this part of the world. There are going to be endless opportunities to build on the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce’s existing relationships in the region, including the BCC in both the Southwest as well as nationally.  We look forward to being the eyes and ears on the ground for the Cornish business community, feeding our insights into the Economic forum.” 

Lord Hutton said “I am delighted to take on this role and to act as an advocate and ambassador for Cornwall’s business community.  

“There are great opportunities ahead of us and I look forward to working closely with businesses to secure the best possible economic future for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”


Posted 21 May, 2024 

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