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Portal aims to drive inward investment boom

Be Central Bedfordshire aims to use the current success stories around the area, such as Millbrook Proving Ground, Nissan’s Technical Centre Europe, defence giant Lockheed Martin and Cranfield University, to illustrate just why Central Bedfordshire is rising in popularity as a business location.

The site was unveiled at a breakfast meeting hosted by Central Bedfordshire Council at its offices in Chicksands. Delegates applauded the site’s clear design and ease of navigation and welcomed the commitment to develop closer links with key sectors such as high-performance technology, logistics, agri-food and tourism.

It also contains a property search for organisations interested in the area as a base to assess the commercial premises on offer.

Be Central Bedfordshire will also set up a Development and Growth Board, led by the private sector, to oversee and deliver sustainable economic growth.

The area has seen inward investment rise by 260 per cent in the past 12 months. Cllr Nigel Young, executive member for regeneration, said: “There has never been a time when we have had as much investment in Central Bedfordshire. As a council, we are completely committed to growth.”

Head of investment James Cushing said that closer work with the key sectors will be crucial to the inward investment drive. Director, regeneration and business Jason Longhurst added: “We have the backbone of some significant sectors but 2015 is about how we better align with sustainable business growth.

“The BeCentralBedfordshire.co.uk website is about moving from being responsive to the market to being far more enabling in order to give business the right development and the right investment that we would like to see in this area and build on our strengths.”

The site aims to become more interactive as it develops. Mr Longhurst added: “While it is distinct from the Council, we are in the unique position of increasingly making available to businesses the market intelligence that we as a local authority can gather, while also responding to new opportunities.

“Of course, inward investment is important but it is equally important that we focus and showcase the business partners that we have already got in the area, enabling those businesses to stay, expand and continue the developing growth story that is Central Bedfordshire.” 

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