Islands’ Partnership In Talks With Cornwall Chamber Of Commerce

islands partnership logoThe Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce visited Scilly last week to meet with members of the Islands’ Partnership.

Kim Conchie had discussions with Partnership Chairman, Chris Gregory, about how the two organisations could work more closely in the future.

Chris described it as a very useful meeting, saying are were some clear similarities between the two organisations.

He said they’d be looking to see how best to use the mainland Chamber’s expertise and business network, which could be of “considerable advantage” to Scilly.

We caught up with Kim to ask him how the Chamber of Commerce could help local business.

Kim says his mission is to ensure that Cornwall and Scilly are no longer seen as the “poor man of Britain” after again failing again to reach the expected development goals set out by the European Union.

He says the Cornwall Chamber helps small and medium sized companies in the region to network and learn from each other, something which research has shown is more important that grant funding in helping businesses to develop.

They also encourage government to provide the right infrastructure for business, such as transport links and superfast broadband, he says.

The Chamber is currently trying to ensure there’s no effect on rural businesses when the Royal Mail is privatised.

And by working with other Chambers in the UK, they can create a powerful lobby at Westminster, he says.

Kim says he was keen to talk to the Islands’ Partnership about working more closely, although he emphasised it’s not about treading on the local group’s toes, but to help Scilly engage more widely in the region and beyond.

Chris says there are various ways the Partnership could move forward with Cornwall Chamber.

That could include the Chamber recruiting members directly here on the islands or striking an affiliate arrangement with them, which allowed Partnership members access to the Chamber’s services.