Joined-up thinking will pay dividends for Falkirk

Speakers at Falkirk Business Panel annual conference: James Brodie, Manager Scotland and China Business Advisor, China-Britain Business Council; Councillor Dennis Goldie, Portfolio Holder of Economic Development, Falkirk Council; Ken Ross, CEO, Ross Developments and Renewables Ltd; Mary Picaithly, Chief Executive, Falkirk Council; Dr Kai Liu, Senior Lecturer in Economic Sociology, Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich; Dr Ken Thomson, Principal, Forth Valley College and  Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director, Operations, Scottish Enterprise''Picture: Michael Gillen
Speakers at Falkirk Business Panel annual conference: James Brodie, Manager Scotland and China Business Advisor, China-Britain Business Council; Councillor Dennis Goldie, Portfolio Holder of Economic Development, Falkirk Council; Ken Ross, CEO, Ross Developments and Renewables Ltd; Mary Picaithly, Chief Executive, Falkirk Council; Dr Kai Liu, Senior Lecturer in Economic Sociology, Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich; Dr Ken Thomson, Principal, Forth Valley College and Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director, Operations, Scottish Enterprise''Picture: Michael Gillen
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Delegates to the Falkirk Business Panel annual conference heard of plans to build on economic partnerships to further develop the area’s potential.

Delegates to the Falkirk Business Panel annual conference heard of plans to build on economic partnerships to further develop the area’s potential.

Mary Pitcaithly, Falkirk Council chief executive, revealed plans to produce a new economic strategy to allow the district to make a big impact on Scotland’s economy.

Speaking to over 200 businessmen and women at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel on Friday, Mrs Pitcaithly spoke of the “joined-up approach” to the threatened closure of the Ineos complex last year, which put 10,000 jobs across Scotland under threat.

One year on, with the government, council and Scottish Enterprise working together, Ineos has now committed a major investment to Grangemouth and secured the future of the site.

The public sector and industry have established the Falkirk Economic Partnership to drive forward continuing development of the area’s potential.

She also spoke of the need for an international focus, with the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Falkirk Welcomes the World’ now a reality.

Mrs Pitcaithly said: “Whether we are talking about tourism, business support, education and our young people, investment in industry or Falkirk’s international profile, we have seen some great progress but we know there is more to do and the proposed economic strategy will set out a plan to help us achieve this and keep pushing Falkirk forward.”

Also at the conference, highlighting Falkirk Council’s efforts to develop the area’s international links, were China specialists Dr Kai Liu of the University of Greenwich, and James Brodie from the China-Britain Business Council. Both discussed the prospect for building stronger connections in the Far East through existing and emerging markets.