We are the UK’s true turbo-economy; one of the most productive, high-growth and economically successful regions in the UK. Once again, the Thames Valley is the number one region outside of London for attracting foreign direct investment into the UK, and is consistently one of the country’s most active trading locations.
On November 29th 2019 we published our BusinessManifestofor 2020. The third annual statement of its kind, it sets out the opportunities and challenges our membership want to champion and which we believe will have the most impact. It commits the Chamber, a politically neutral organisation, to lead, support and campaign for a programme of activity across the region in 2020.
We set out five main priorities, on which the Chamber will:
Continue our direct support for a business solution to securing the commitment, funding and delivery of the Western Rail Link to London Heathrow (WRLtH). Advocate the environmental benefits the scheme will bring to Heathrow Airport and its environs.
Promote the need for a comprehensive and resilient infrastructure network, including the expansion of Heathrow Airport, that will support the region’s future and sustainable economic growth.
Lobby Government to deliver practical and real world interventions to ensure any business impacts of BREXIT are mitigated by frictionless trade and investment and freedom of movement for the workforce.
Promote leadership in showcasing the need to improve standards of skills development, business-education partnerships and lifelong learning.
Strengthen awareness of and the commitment to delivering mental health fitness, diversity and belonging in the workplace, provide opportunities for the sharing and adoption of best practice.
These priorities are framed by the following six core themes that inform, influence and shape our vision and wider programme of work and events across the region and at the local level.
For more information on the Thames Valley Inward Investment Results Report for 2018/2019, click here.
Business Manifesto Advisory Group (BMAG)
The BMAG acts as a scrutiny and review body, overseeing progress on the delivery of the Chamber’s annual Business Manifesto.
Chaired by an established and leading figure from business, the BMAG meets three times a year with agendas themed around the Business Manifesto’s main priorities. Reflecting on these and the wider issues affecting the Thames Valley and the prevailing political landscape, the BMAG continues to attract senior figures, Government representatives and business leaders as speakers and contributors.
The next meeting date (subject to confirmation) is 22nd October 2020 and will focus on Mental Health / Diversity & Inclusion
We held our most recent and first ‘Virtual BMAG’ on 15th July 2020: “Restart – Rebuild – Renew” – moving towards a new normal for business. Our keynote speaker,Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, presented on the phased reopening of the economy (Restart), building resilience for firms and households (Rebuild) and the return to prosperity and growth (Renew).
During the BMAG, our businesses raised the need for:
Consistent messages coming out of Government to ensure business are not only ‘doing business again’ but can ‘get back to growing’ their business and therefore the UK economy.
Clearer statements around BREXIT and addressing some of the outstanding key challenges that remain.
An unambiguous commitment from government to invest and deliver Western Rail Link to London Heathrow ‘now’.
Investment in the successful regions of the UK (including the Thames Valley) as the driver of the economic recovery.
Building public confidence to use public transport again with greater emphasis on the ‘safer travel message’.
Strengthening the policy focus of the Group, there is capacity to set up a small number of topic-based task and finish working groups. This includes our Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) working-group and proposals, in 2020, for those covering resilient infrastructure and mental health, diversity and inclusion.
To learn more about the BMAG and its work, please contact Jess Harrison
Western Rail Link to London Heathrow (WRLtH)
Drawing on the expertise and experience of senior infrastructure and engineering companies within membership, this working group is leading the Chamber’s engagement with Government, key stakeholders and other key partners associated with delivering the project. Providing an informed steer and project guidance, representatives of the group have met the Secretary of State, lobbied Government officials and their agencies, written to MPs and both mobilised and supported partners helping deliver the project.
In the Context of the unprecedented challenges facing the UK economy, the WRLtH working group continues to update its key messages and communication strategies.
Other activities include; promoting the ‘elevator-pitch’ to the project benefits; lobbying the BCC and other accredited Chambers across the South and South West of England and South Wales to pull together behind the project, and supporting our key partners (e.g. Thames Valley Berkshire LEP) to ensure a consistent, uniform approach is being taken.
TVCC is actively seeking Statements of Support for WRLtH from businesses to present to government. Please visit our WRLtH page for a template letter and for more information about the project.