WOKINGHAM is one of the top places to do businesses in the UK, meaning that we’ve got plenty to shout about – and a new campaign launched last week by the local Chamber of Commerce will do just that.
Last Thursday morning, a host of business leaders, councillors and companies gathered together at Green Park in Reading to celebrate the launch of Made In Reading and Wokingham.
The scheme aims to showcase and promote local, regional and international businesses in the Wokingham and Reading areas.
Run by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, the initiative will boost the profile of businesses by raising awareness, championing heritage and boosting pride in our local economy.
As part of this, it will organise a series of networking events and is in the process of creating case studies of businesses to showcase the talent and achievements within the Thames Valley.
The vision was unpacked during the breakfast event.
Paul Britton, Chief Executive, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce said: “Response to the campaign has been fantastic and we are already being contacted by companies keen to participate. A dedicated page on our website will bring together case studies, hot topics on Reading & Wokingham news, business tips and thought leadership views as well as details on upcoming events. The campaign will be supported with a comprehensive social media programme.”
Andy Cowie, President, Reading & Wokingham Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the launch.
He said: “Reading & Wokingham is a great place to do business, a fact backed up by recent reports by both PwC and EY, who have both put us at the top of their list in the UK. We have got plenty to shout about and be proud of including diverse businesses of all sizes, continuing investment in transport links and infrastructure and first class educational facilities.
“The Chamber has been at the heart of the business community for a long time and its recently launched manifesto and commitment to Reading & Wokingham businesses will ensure our members voices are heard on a local, regional and national level.”
The Chamber has also produced a video extolling the virtues of Reading and Wokingham as a business destination.
Lorraine Gibson, the managing director of Toutley Road-based business Brayborne Facilities Services, is one of the people featured in it.
She talked about people moving to Wokingham as a result of the house building programme and highlighted the need for the Made In programme.
She said: “I think for people looking to come in and open their business, Wokingham will be a really good area to move in to… I think the Made In campaign needs to happen because people won’t know what the area offers. People that live here here know. There’s a lot coming into the area…. We can share it and let people know and they’ll come.”
Attendees included Active FM, Herrington Carmichael LLP, Jemca Car Group, The Readiness Company and the University of Reading, as well as Cllr Stuart Munro, the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development and Regeneration, and his deputy, Cllr Philip Mirfin.
The Wokingham Paper was also present – the only local newspaper at the launch.
Many attendees took to Twitter to highlight their enthusiasm and excitement for the event with messages of support coming in throughout the event.
Lynn Underwood tweeted: “Thank you @TValleyChamber for the great event this morning. Let’s work together to make Reading & Wokingham”.
Business Growth Hub added: “Great to meet so many exciting Berkshire SMEs this morning at the @TValleyChamber ‘Made in Reading & Wokingham’ campaign launch @GreenParkUK #Reading #Wokingham.”
pH Design & Print further added: “Thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Made in Reading & Wokingham event this morning at Green Park.
“Met some brilliant businesses and had some great conversations!
“Looking forward to attending the next event.”
And to help celebrate the launch, the Chamber of Commerce Made in Reading & Wokingham themed balloons and cupcakes were especially prepared for the launch and proved very popular with visitors.
For more details on the campaign, log on to www.thamesvalleychamber.co.uk or call 01753 870500.