Insider's Oldham Economic Forum 2013

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Insider Media is the company behind Insider magazine, the UK’s leading regional business publication and the largest regional business email news service. Insider also host over 100 major business events per year, and this week it was Oldham’s turn to be in the spotlight.

Held at the Madeleine Lindley Training & Conference Centre, Insider’s Oldham Economic Forum was a networking breakfast with a fantastic panel of speakers lined up. As a respected businessman and Oldham President of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, our Chief Executive, Craig was invited to take part in the panel discussions.

The editor of Insider magazine, Chris Maguire was our host of the morning, putting challenging questions to each of the speakers. The speakers were split into two panels with the first panel consisting of Charlie Parker, Chief Executive of Oldham Council, Alun Francis, Chief Executive of Oldham College and Mike Braddock from the Oldham Business Leadership Group. All three made excellent points about the benefits of working together for a collective bright future for our town.

Next it was Craig’s turn in the hot seat, he discussed the trials and tribulations of recruiting locally for technical roles. He also spoke of his passion for the town and education, as well as the business benefits that can be gained from being based in Oldham. The other members of the second panel were Paul Naylon, Group Managing Director of NOV Mono and Anthony Dillon, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon. Both echoed Craig’s sentiments as decision-makers in businesses that have chosen to relocate to Oldham.

Council Leader, Jim McMahon was the final guest who was invited to the stage and took part in a solo interview. The Get Oldham Working initiative was a large focus, as announced at the One Oldham Business Awards the preceding weekend. Aiming to create 2015 jobs and training opportunities for young people by the end of the year 2015, Councillor McMahon went through the ways that local businesses can help. Some of the major regeneration projects in the pipeline for Oldham will provide the catalyst for change. These include the old town hall cinema complex, Hotel Future and a state-of-the art theatre and heritage centre.

All speakers gave the audience a renewed sense of positivity about our town, reminding us of the incredible place we work and live in. Full coverage of this event will be published in the next issue of Insider magazine.