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Businesses Back SEEDA

13 June 2008

SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, helps improve the quality of life and maintains jobs for people in South East England. Over the last three years, SEEDA has created or attracted 7,600 businesses to the region and assisted 132,000 businesses to improve their performance, brought in £630 million of investment and regenerated 200 hectares of brownfield land. (All figures relate to financial years 2005-08).

How is this success achieved?

One of the keys to engaging with the business community and working with partners from the local councils, government and others, is to have a tireless and hard-working chairman. Jim Brathwaite has always believed that his role is to get out and meet business people, local authorities and delivery partners face to face. He does this to great effect, covering some 35,000 miles each year and seeing a good number of the 700,000 businesses in the South East region.

Our partners in the region say:

Ross McNally, Executive Director, South East Chambers of Commerce "Jim is a business man and we need business people to at the top giving up their time to lead public bodies such as the Regional Development Agencies. We really value all the hard work he has personally done for businesses in the region".

Roger House, Chairman of South East Policy Unit for Federation of Small Businesses, said: "As a representative of small businesses in the region I find that SEEDA is accessible and ready to listen. I recognise and support SEEDA in its strategic role as the interface between government and business and I can see the value that it adds throughout the region."

Mark Froud, Chief Executive at Sussex Enterprise: "I have known Jim Brathwaite for many years and have always admired his dedication and determination to inspire businesses across the region. He works tirelessly for SEEDA to make sure the needs of the local business community are listened to at a national level. "

"Focusing on any specific expenses he incurs is taken out of context and completely misses the point. What we should be doing is thanking Jim for committing his knowledge, expertise and energy to bringing about positive changes for business in the south east. As one of the most successful businessmen in the country the fact that he has decided to put something back and help boost our economy should be celebrated not criticised."

At a time when people are concerned with a credit crunch and a downturn in the economy, SEEDA's work in the region over the past three years created and safeguarded 18,000 jobs, helped 32,000 people get work and assisted 142,000 people in skills development.

What businesses have said about SEEDA?

Chinese company Huawei's P: "As a global business, Huawei has recognised the importance of the South East of England as a cluster for most of the world's biggest telecommunications companies hence our decision to base our European HQ in the region. SEEDA has been extremely helpful and has been instrumental in making key introductions for us in the UK."

Siemens Magnet Technology Managing Director: "SEEDA has been extremely helpful in putting us in touch with local organisations and bodies that are now assisting us with our short and longer-term recruitment and development activities. I envisage Siemens Magnet Technology continuing to work with SEEDA on a number of fronts in the future."




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