Business Secretary Vince Cable to headline Future Solent green conference

Business Secretary Vince Cable to headline Future Solent green conference

10 October 2013

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, is to address a Hampshire conference and exhibition looking at how best to create and safeguard jobs in a green economy.

The Future Solent event is being staged by a partnership of business leaders, politicians and green technology experts keen to stimulate sustainable economic growth while reducing our carbon footprint.

Board members of Future Solent include representatives from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Southampton University, IBM, Southern Water, Bouygues UK and PUSH, the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire.

Subjects under discussion will include the latest thinking on sustainable travel, renewable energy and turning green technologies into viable business propositions.

Jimmy Chestnutt, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber, said: “Developing an effective low carbon economy will create jobs, generate growth and improve the quality of life for all of us in this region. This event will help businesses understand how Future Solent can help them to participate in or benefit from the development of that economy and what training, funding streams and incentives are available to them. We are delighted that Dr Cable is joining us to brief us on the government’s objectives and how we in the Solent LEP area can help and benefit.”

Doug Morrison from Solent LEP will open the conference and give an overview of the strategic objectives of the local enterprise partnership while Alex Parmley from PUSH will discuss how SMEs can get involved in the local authority-backed Solent Green Deal. Under the scheme, householders receive a loan to pay for council-approved contractors to carry out energy improvement work and then pay it back though savings made on lower energy bills. The work can involve loft, wall or door insulation, double glazing, smart meters, biomass boilers or solar power.

Winchester-based banking expert Prof Richard Werner will talk about plans for a locally owned and run bank to be called the Hampshire Community Bank. The consortium behind the plans, Local First, aims to secure regulatory approval and make the bank operational in two years.

Other speakers include Charles Burt, Managing Director of environmental services consultancy Olive, the sustainability advisers for the proposed Welborne new town north of Fareham.

Liz Boynton from Bouygues UK, part of the Bouygues Construction Group, will present on corporate responsibility. She said: “At Bouygues UK, corporate responsibility is at the core of our strategy and is essential for long term sustainability. It’s not just about being a leader in construction, we must be a leader in sustainable construction and our role with the Future Solent Board supports this objective.”

Mike Unsworth, project director of the proposed Navitus Bay wind power scheme to the west of the Isle of Wight, will discuss potential supply chain opportunities afforded by the project.

Other presenters include Dee John, Executive Director of Highbury College, Andy Stanford-Clark from IBM and Sarah Leeming from sustainable transport charity Sustrans. The event will be chaired by Simon Rhodes, Managing Partner of law firm Trethowans.

Alongside the conference is an exhibition of green technology initiatives. Among the exhibitors are representatives from both Portsmouth and Southampton universities and a range of companies working in energy and environmental sustainability.

Future Solent’s conference, Business Opportunities in a Low Carbon Economy, takes place at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on Friday 18th October, 2013. For more information, visit, email or call 02380 6882283. To book a place, call 01329 242427 or email


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