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Businesses hear about Enterprise M3’s £1.4bn investment plan to boost the local economy

 “Government need to invest in success” - this was the key message from Geoff French, chair of Enterprise M3, at the LEP’s fourth annual conference on  27 February at FIVE in Farnborough. Over 250 delegates from business, local government and the not-for-profit sector heard about collaboration between Enterprise M3 and partners and the £1.4bn investment plan to unlock growth across the area. Enterprise M3 are lobbying government for an investment of around £350m from the Local Growth Fund which will be matched by the private and public sector and used to implement a range of growth packages including transport, housing and skills projects.

Enterprise M3, along with the other LEPs in England, is currently in the process of producing a Strategic Economic Plan for its area which sets out what the LEP and its partners plan to do over the next six years to create new jobs, increase the number of business start-ups and improve the productivity of local businesses.

Conference delegates heard how the economic successes across the Enterprise M3 area generates prosperity throughout the UK resulting in increased government spending power, with our successful businesses fuelling a net contribution to the exchequer year-on-year.

Geoff French, Chair of Enterprise M3 commented: “Enterprise M3 has really come of age in the last year and this Annual Conference has been an excellent opportunity for delegates to hear what we are already doing to drive prosperity in the M3 corridor and our plans to make the place even better. We are lobbying for major transport schemes, such as the A3 around Guildford and junction 9 on the M3, to start earlier than planned and for congestion hotspots to be tackled.

“We hope that Government will realise that high performing areas like Enterprise M3 still need investment. If our area does not get the substantial investment it needs to tackle its problems with traffic congestion, insufficient housing and labour and skills shortages, there is a real risk of jeopardising the economic success of both this area and the UK as a whole.”

Think like a nation

Delegates also heard from renowned management thinker and innovation expert, Charles Leadbeater, who gave a fascinating and informative keynote speech on future trends of the global economy, the significance of innovation and the importance for all organisations, whether in the private, public or not-for-profit sector, to start thinking like nations.

The conference was hailed by delegates as a great success, with inspiration and much food for thought from a range of speakers. These included Kate Dean, Customer Development Director at leading South East property management company, SEGRO plc, Mark Thomson, a Project Engineer from leading Farnborough-based construction company and headline sponsor, Fluor and Dr Geoff McGrath, Vice-President of McLaren Applied Technologies.

Geoff French concluded: “This Conference has given delegates a real insight into the exciting collaboration and innovation that is already going on within the Enterprise M3 area and also given them some pointers on what more can be done by business to work more collaboratively, more innovatively and, as a result, be more successful and profitable.”


Presentations, videos and photos from the 2014 Annual Conference can be viewed at

For further information, please call Alex Williams on 07976 703768 or email

Notes to the editor

EnterpriseM3 Local Enterprise Partnership

Enterprise M3 is the Local Enterprise Partnership for an area which covers the New Forest through Hampshire up to the M25 including major centres such as Aldershot, Winchester, Basingstoke, Woking and Guildford, an area which encompasses over 1,600,000 residents and 86,500 businesses; accounting for nearly 20% of the South East’s economic prosperity.

Local Enterprise Partnerships are business–led and work with other public sector organisations such as local authorities, in partnership, across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.

Enterprise M3 drives prosperity in the M3 Corridor and champions the needs of businesses, actively listening to and engaging with them. Enterprise M3 recognises the importance of the environment and the quality of life for those who live and work in the area. Enterprise M3 can be contacted via or by emailing

Annual Conference Sponsors

Enterprise M3’s Conference Partners for the 2014 Annual Conference was Fluor, one of the world’s leading publicly traded engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and project management companies. Fluor has its UK headquarters in Farnborough.

Other sponsors of the Conference were: Santander UK, Vitacress, TaylorMade Computer Solutions, SEGRO, the Universities of Surrey and Southampton, Hampshire County Council, Surrey County Council, Rushmoor Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council.