Huntingdonshire District Council, alongside Make UK, hosted a roundtable meeting for 15 local business leaders to discuss the future of manufacturing in the district.

Speakers at the roundtable event included Jonathan Djanogly MP, Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, COO of Hotel Chocolat, Matt Margereson, and the Chief Engineer of Anglian Water Services, alongside representatives from Make UK and the District Council’s Economic Development Team.

The event was held to encourage and capitalise on the collaboration of Huntingdonshire’s manufacturers, building relationships and even exploring local supply chains.

Topics of focus included school engagement, training the next generation, providing the existing manufacturing workforce with skills for the future, as well as listening to the current challenges that face the sector and opportunities for growth.

Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "HDC is strongly committed to supporting the manufacturing sector in Huntingdonshire which accounts for 15.3% of total employment and more than 13,000 jobs across the district - significantly more than any other business sector. Huntingdonshire’s manufacturers therefore play a vital role in both the local and national economy by driving innovation, exports, job creation and productivity growth. This roundtable event was a great opportunity for the sector’s opportunities and challenges to be heard and fed back to both local and national government."

Chief Operating Officer of Hotel Chocolat, Matt Margerson, said: "The roundtable event was a refreshing introduction into the opportunities and challenges facing the manufacturing industry both nationally and regionally. All attendees were open and honest, highlighting many consistent themes to be carried forward into practical forums to overcome skills and workforce sustainability challenges. I would recommend the benefits of subsequent sessions for all regional employers."

For further information on the support and guidance available for local businesses, contact the Economic Development team.