Somerset business leaders show their support for Into Somerset

PUBLISHED: 16:58 16 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:53 20 February 2013

Rupert Cox (Into Somerset), John Willcox (BAM Construction) and Peter Wyman (Somerset Community Foundation)

Rupert Cox (Into Somerset), John Willcox (BAM Construction) and Peter Wyman (Somerset Community Foundation)

Around thirty of Somerset's most influential business people gathered at the prestigious Mount Somerset Hotel on Wednesday 2 February to hear about Into Somerset's strategy for the future

Around thirty of Somersets most influential business people gathered at the prestigious Mount Somerset hotel on Wednesday 2 February to hear about Into Somersets strategy for the future, many pledging their support to ensure the continuing good work of the countys highly successful inward investment body.

Gemma Coombs and John Vieth from Magnox South, the management and operations contractor responsible for decommissioning nuclear sites on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, presented a cheque for 25,000 to Into Somerset Chair, Cllr Anne Fraser MBE, during the evening. These funds will be used to support the ongoing work of the organisation, which raises the profile of Somerset as a business destination with the aim of attracting entrepreneurs to invest, in order to strengthen the economy and create higher skilled, better jobs within the county.

John Vieth, Supplier Relationships Manager for Magnox South, said, As decommissioning continues at Hinkley A, we are committed to ensuring we leave a positive and sustainable legacy to the local community. Over the past 50 years, Hinkley Point A has built strong business links in Somerset and Magnox South is pleased to continue this tradition by supporting Into Somerset. Somerset is a great place to do business and I hope, with Magnox support, Into Somerset can maximise its potential.

Magnox Souths contribution was warmly welcomed by Into Somerset Chief Executive, Rupert Cox. 'We are delighted that Magnox South has invested in the Into Somerset project.This will help us to improve our marketing of Somerset as a place to do business and we hope that other Somerset companies will see fit to financially support the programme as well.

Since its creation only three years ago, Into Somerset has played a key part in around 30 company investments in Somerset which, in addition to the enormous economic benefit generated, should create over 500 new jobs in the county by the summer of 2011. Cox highlighted some of the tactics used to generate awareness to date, including an integrated social media campaign; an outdoor marketing campaign in London; regular media relations activity; sponsorship of Somerset racing driver Ewan Hankey; presence at the iconic Glastonbury Festival; and a vibrant Ambassador programme.

Guests from a wide range of industries including finance, engineering, energy, construction, property, entertainment and many more, were presented with Into Somersets plans to encourage more private sector involvement to support the inward investment bodys efforts in the future.

Cox explained, The six funding local authorities in Somerset are committed to the principles of inward investment and supportive of the project but do not have the budgets they had in previous years, so we are seeking investment from the private sector to support our work.

There is much to recommend Somerset as a business location. The lifestyle here is, of course, excellent and connectivity is better than most, but the business case rings true as well. IBM, for instance, has invested in Highbridge creating 50 new jobs because it makes good business sense compared to where they relocated from in Uxbridge its up to 30% cheaper on premises, people and other on-costs.

HSBC Bank sponsored the event and Peter Larcombe, HSBC Area Commercial Director, commented, HSBC Bank plc is delighted to support Into Somerset. The message from HSBC is that we are very much open for business.Our strong desire is to work with businesses, to help with their strategic planning so that they can achieve their plans to develop and grow.This includes both existing and new customers within Somerset and those who wish to relocate Into Somerset.

Into Somerset offers a tailored business relocation service, giving advice and information to facilitate the process. For more information, visit or call 0845 1222 066.

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