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Region’s key sectors headed up by local business leaders for Leicester Business Festival

Industry leaders are spearheading the key sectors in this year’s Festival to showcase the strength of the region.

Leicester Business Festival (LBF) is now in its fourth year, running from 29 October until 9 November. The 2017 Festivalsaw over 150 events take place over a fortnight, which attracted nearly 10,000 attendees. There was incredible feedback from event hosts and attendees, with 91 per cent of attendees saying the events were ‘good to excellent’.

The Business Festival was established to encourage local businesses to collaborate, innovate and learn from other businesses in the region. There is a wide range of events for 2018 which truly showcase the diversity of the region and highlight the success of Leicester and Leicestershire businesses.

One of the thirteen local business leaders Scott Charlish, head of financial planning at Brewin Dolphin, is sector lead for Professional Services and said, “The Business Festival offers a great opportunity for the Leicester and Leicestershire professional services sector to shine a light on its wide expertise. It has the ability to assist both local and national firms in their development. Many of the UK's largest professional service firm names have retained a Leicestershire presence, which is indicative of the strength of the sector in our region. In addition, we have a number of more locally based firms who also offer first class services to the people of Leicestershire.

I am delighted, once again, to be associated with the Festival and am sure that we will see it go from strength to strength, as we build upon the experience of the last three years. In particular, I believe that we will highlight the benefits of working within the sector in the City and County, thus helping to improve graduate retention and to emphasise the high-quality employment opportunities available in our area."

This year’s Festival has eleven sectors which are all vital to the economic growth of Leicester and Leicestershire. Each sector is led by industry professionals who are well known and highly knowledgeable in their field, to help attract those from outside the region.

Sector leads will be a spokesperson on key topics for their relevant sector. They will also support the Festival in various ways, including using their professional networks and connections to spread the message, as well as helping to cultivate attendees for events.

This year’s sector leads are;

  • Business Support, Communications & Marketing – Jenny Cross, managing director of Cross Productions

  • Creative Industries – Geoff Rowe, CEO of Big Difference Company and director of Leicester Comedy Festival

  • Distribution & Logistics – Chris Hayton, head of external affairs of East Midlands Airport

  • Education & Skills – Prof. Dana Brown, principal of Leicester Castle Business School

  • Environment, Food & Rural Affairs – John Everitt, CEO of the National Forest Company

  • Hi-Tech Manufacturing – Gillian Hunter, manager of LATi

  • Professional Services – Scott Charlish, head of fianancial planning at Brewin Dolphin

  • Property & Constructions – Alastair Hamilton, partner at Pick Everard

  • Retail, Tourism & Hospitality – Jo Tallack, general manager at Highcorss Leicester and Sally Coleman, strategic tourism manager, Leicester City Council & Leicestershire County Council

  • Space & Aerospace – Dr. Grant Bourhill, CEO science parks at University of Leicester

  • Sport, Health & Life Sciences – Kevin Routlegde, chairman of Leicester Riders and Dr. Riddhi Shukla, business development manager for College of Life Science at Leicester University

Grant Bourhill, chief executive of Science Parks for University of Leicester is sector lead for Space and Aerospace said, "The Leicester Business Festival provides an excellent platform for both existing and new space institutions to network, share information and identify new business opportunities and partnerships. A focus of the LBF in 2018 on the space sector is very timely.

“In addition to the UK Space Bill and recently announced UK Space Port, the sector is a core foundation of the industrial strategy, the LLEP local industrial strategy prospectus, the Midlands Engine Vision for Growth and a Space Sector deal is imminent."

Tickets for Leicester Business Festival 2018 are now on from Most events are completely free to attend and eople are encouraged to book their tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Other supporters include Everards; De Montfort University; Pattersons Commercial Law; Growth Partners PLC; and the Institute of Directors, as well as official app partner Infonote, AV media partner The Presentation Group and official coffee partner 200 Degrees.

Media partners include Cross Productions, Global and Capital FM. In association with Associate Events.

For more information, visit, contact or call 0116 464 5995.

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