Lord Sainsbury, Science and Innovation Minister, pledged the
government's support for a new initiative which could make
Peterborough a world-wide centre of expertise in environmental
technology, at the launch of the Peterborough Environment Cluster
initiative, on 27 February 2002.
The conference was organised by the UK
Centre for Economic and Environmental Development (UK CEED) to promote
the growth of a cluster of environment-related businesses in and
The audience at the launch was
welcomed by John Cox, Chairman of UK CEED. Helen Clark spoke on the
government's strategy for business clusters and sustainable
development before introducing Lord Sainsbury. The Minister's
speech promised government backing for the initiative which aims
to generate more environment-related jobs and investment in
He told business and civic leaders at
the conference: "Clusters are extremely important for the UK's
economic development. Research has shown that these concentrations of
companies and institutions operating in a particular field aid the
growth of the organisations which are within them. They also boost the
economies of which they are part. They provide a crucial vehicle for
business people and the academic community to work together.
"The cluster of
environment-related businesses and public agencies in Peterborough has
the potential to create sustainable economic growth for the city which
will benefit the whole of the UK. Technologies and techniques
developed here could be applied across the world in the rapidly
growing market for environmentally beneficial goods and services.
"Peterborough - and the UK - has
the potential to become a world leader in this market. The government
is committed to support these ambitions."
Also among the panel of speakers at
the launch of the environment cluster initiative, were Jonathan Selwyn,
Executive Director of UK CEED, Paul Martin, Chied Executive of
Peterborough City Council and Bill Samuel, Chief Executive of the East
of England Development Agency (EEDA).
Jonathan Selwyn, said: "The
Peterborough Environment Cluster is an integral part of the Greater
Peterborough Partnership's strategy for the city. It will attract new
environmental firms to the area and encourage the expansion of the
ones already here to deliver real economic growth. It will build on
the city's existing strengths to create new jobs and wealth."
A study by UK CEED has shown that
there are already more than 250 environment sector organisations in
the Peterborough area. They employ a total of more than 4,500 people
and account for over five per cent of the area's economic activity.
There is a rising demand for
environmental technologies, goods and services at both national and
international level. The UK market for environment services is
expected to almost double to £16 billion by 2010.
EEDA has recognised the environment
cluster in Peterborough as a major potential area of economic growth.
There were also discussion groups,
subject and hosted as follows:
Developing Sustainable Products &
Professor Peter Guthrie
Chair of Engineering for Sustainable Development, University of
Business Opportunities in Natural Environment
& Biodiversity Management
General Manager, English Nature
Financing & Supporting Innovation in
Group Chief Executive, Norwich and Peterborough Building
Managing the Innovation Process
Head of Innovation and Technology HSBC Bank plc