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Somerset 3D


Somerset businesses turn out in force for preview of the decade!

Businesses from across the county turned out in force on Tuesday 4 May for the 2010 Somerset in Business Conference entitled “The Decade of Opportunity”, which gave business people an insight into the many opportunities in Somerset that are happening now and spanning over the next ten years, helping them to maximise the wealth of potential business opportunities available. 

234 delegates attended from a broad range of sectors including finance, commercial property, leisure, retail, advanced engineering, energy, charity, construction, local authorities, education and skills training, business services, the creative sector and more.

Spokespeople from several forthcoming major developments in Somerset gave valuable, enlightening and inspiring briefings to local business people, giving them an opportunity to benefit from millions of pounds worth of investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs thanks to four of the county’s biggest developments over the next decade: Hinkley Point Development; Building Schools for the Future programme; Taunton Firepool Development; and the Royal Bath & West Showground.

Peter Davies, Development Manager at St Modwen, spoke about opportunities arising from the new 16.5 acre Taunton Firepool Development, which is expected to create around 4,000 jobs. He commented on how impressed he was with the tone of the Conference. “It was a great opportunity to inform and hopefully infect others with our enthusiasm for our delivery plans at Firepool, Taunton within the wider county setting. I don't think anyone could be in any doubt, following the morning's presentations, that the county has huge opportunities to offer businesses and their staff. The key is to sell this message far and wide.”

Robert Young, Director of BAM PPP presented the Building Schools for the Future Programme, which includes a £630million investment programme for Somerset incorporating all secondary schools in the county. Although there primarily as a spokesperson, he too found it a great opportunity for business networking and development. “Last week’s conference was very informative. It gave me useful insight into the other major projects being developed in Somerset and, particularly in the case of Hinkley Point, how it may impact on the BSF Programme and the need for collaboration between the two projects. We did make some contacts at the event which will also be very useful in allowing us to increase our network of contacts within the wider business community in support of the BSF Programme.”

Some very positive business developments have come out of the conference already, including several companies who have put themselves forward to join the approved supply chains for the major investment opportunities highlighted.

A wide range of local businesses took exhibition stands at the event in order to promote their companies and services to other businesses in the area. One of those exhibitors was Ylem Ltd, which provides IT solutions for businesses. Ylem’s Managing Director, Sandra Wilson, commented, “We were delighted at the excellent attendance with everyone keen to openly discuss business circumstances and opportunities. We heard a great deal of positive feedback and felt there was an atmosphere of business being done. There is obviously a considerable enthusiasm for being in business in Somerset from those who are already here and a keenness to encourage new businesses to the county.”

Somerset 3D has been instrumental in creating over 200 jobs in the county and is on target to have handled over 100 enquiries by March 2011 from businesses considering relocating to the Somerset. It already has over 170 active Somerset 3D Ambassadors, with more of the county’s business people registering their interest in the Ambassador scheme both during and since the Conference.

Rupert Cox, Chief Executive of inward investment organisation Somerset 3D, says, “It was great to see the high level of interest and engagement that exists in the Somerset business community. This energy and proactivity is surely part of the reason that Somerset is faring better than some other counties in these challenging times. This, coupled with the impressive developments being planned, makes Somerset's future bright.”

Video footage of the individual presentations will be available on the Somerset 3D website,, so that business people who were unable to attend the Conference will still have an opportunity to find out more about Somerset’s plans for the coming decade and subsequently benefit from them.

Somerset is renowned for its friendly and supportive business network. The calendar is full of events that advise, train and offer networking opportunities. Visit or for further information.