End of year review letter from our Chair, Paul Southby, to all members of Nottingham Partners.

Dear Members,

I have a great view of much of the city skyline from my office window here on NG2 spanning most of The Park to the west, across Canning Circus, Maid Marian Way and the castle, over the city centre, the Lace Market and the station area to the Notts County floodlights to the east.  Experian’s UK headquarters obscures the City Ground and Trent Bridge.  What does the view tell me about how Invest In Nottingham, Visit Nottingham and Nottingham Partners are currently faring?

The two things that stand out the most are that for the first time in several years, there are several large cranes standing over the city centre and that much of this side of the castle is covered in scaffolding.  The cranes indicate that the city and the Southern Gateway in particular is moving into a significant phase of development with work already underway at sites such as Nottingham College, the Broadmarsh car park, Bildurn’s Station Street development, the Summer Leys residential site, and these developments will be followed by significant further works at Broadmarsh, the Unity Square development, major developments on the Island site, and a number of others outside my office field of vision such as the Guildhall and Science Park.  The developments at the castle will turn it into a world class visitor destination by 2020, and my expectation is that Visit Nottingham will play a significant role in working with the Castle Trust and the City Council to bring enhanced focus on Nottingham’s offering to visitors.   I can just make out the corner of the Council House, and some of you may have noticed the recently added pop-up shop within the Tourist Information Centre which heralds the start of what I hope will be a long term and mutually profitable working relationship between the Visit Nottingham team and Nottingham Forest.

In short, there is a lot going on, and much more in prospect, and despite all of the uncertainty generated by Brexit and a local environment made more challenging by significant reductions in funding to our local authorities I believe we all have good reason to be positive about the future of our city, and its wider economic area. 

There are many people to thank for their contribution to the success this year of Investment in Nottingham, Visit Nottingham, and Nottingham Partners, and I would like to thank Brendan, Lorraine, and the wider team at Marketing NG for all of their hard work throughout the course of the year.  Thank you also – of course – to all of our members and funders, including Nottingham City Council, for your contribution to the work undertaken by the company. 

Nottingham Partners’ events have been a great success this year and of excellent quality.  Our sponsors over the year, Mason Infotech, Center Parcs, Eversheds Sutherland, Crowne Plaza, Arup, and Alto Nottingham have been extremely supportive, and I hope gained value from their participation in Nottingham Partners’ events.  In addition, there is a long list of speakers to thank for their always fascinating and often inspirational words this year.  Forgive the long list, but they are James Whybrow from Nottingham College, Robert Dixon from Nottingham City Council, Matt Wheatley from D2N2, Sean Akins from Bildurn, Andrew Redfern from Framework, Steve Mason from Mason Infotech, Mike Sassi from the Nottingham Post, Martin Dalby from Center Parcs, Derek Higton from Nottinghamshire County Council, Mark Wood from Eversheds Sutherland, Geoff Love from Esendex, Mark Chivers from Walgreens Boots Alliance, David Clements from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Paul Norbury from PwC, Steve Thomas from Experian, Ian Curryer from Nottingham City Council, Trish Daswaney from Kohl Creatives, Edward Peck from Nottingham Trent University, Peter Brown from PwC, Claire Stant from Paragon Interiors, James Calder from Distinct Recruitment, Sarah Walker-Smith from Browne Jacobson, Fran Cox from Scape Group, Sandy Mahal from Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and Olly Betts from OpenWrks.  A big thank you to all of them for making the Nottingham Partners’ events great over the last 12 months.

Coming up, we have the first Nottingham Partners’ annual dinner sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland LLP, to take place on 31 January at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham.  There are still tables available for what I am sure will be a great evening where the principal speaker is Rhys Herbert from Lloyds Banking Group who will give us a fascinating insight into the global economy, Brexit and beyond focussing in particular on the implications for the UK and East Midlands economies, with contributions also from Karen Smart, the MD at East Midlands Airport, Chris Peters the Group MD of Addo Food Group, Camilla Wigmore, the MD of Abacus Lighting, and Eric McVittie, Lead Data Scientist and Head of Research and Market Intelligence at Experian.  Our first Members’ lunch of the New Year is to be held at the Hilton Hotel on Milton Street on 11 January where the speakers will be Councillor Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, and Chris Henning, Corporate Director, Development and Growth also from Nottingham City Council, and I for one am looking forward to hearing from them about how they see Nottingham progressing over the next few years and the developing city centre strategy.

The team is always keen to hear from members with ideas for future events, and I encourage you to be in touch with Natalie Williams (natalie.williams@nottinghampartners.co.uk) if there are specific areas of focus you would like to see highlighted next year.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your support for Nottingham Partners and the wider Invest in Nottingham project over the last year.  These projects rely on the support of private sector partners, and without that support the company would be unable to maintain its influence within the city and our local economic area, so thank you again, and the team looks forward to working with you throughout 2019 and beyond.

Seasons’ greetings to all of you, and my best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.

Yours sincerely

Paul Southby

Chair, Marketing NG