is the contribution business makes to local areas overlooked?

Here in the East Midlands, business has a central role in the local economy and as such its image is generally very positive. New orders and jobs are not only recognised by the media, but are seen as essential to the local economy. In Derby where I live, we have recently seen headline news in the manufacturing sector with Rolls-Royce securing the new Trent 7000 engine for the latest version of the Airbus A330 and in the service sector with Webhelp who are creating 600 new jobs in their call centre.

Manufacturing is central to the East Midlands economy and we have many global brands like Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Toyota and JCB, together with hundreds of medium and small businesses which serve in the supply chain and many who are exporting to countries all over the world. The manufacturing and service employers not only provide direct employment, but are essential in enabling the spending ability for other sectors such as retail and leisure.

What is often overlooked is the support our employers give to the education and charity sectors of our area. The majority of our businesses support their employees both on an individual and corporate basis in fund-raising for many charities close to their heart, and are working in schools and colleges to take lessons and provide career advice and guidance for students that often goes way beyond the call of duty. My own employer, JCB is no exception; it continues to provide substantial support to the JCB Academy and has recently handed over a cheque for £1 million to the NSPCC.

In summary, our businesses are a core part of both the community and economy and I am pleased to say that this is widely celebrated by both the general public and the local media.

David Bell is the Chief Corporate Development Officer of J C Bamford Excavators Ltd, Chair of Governors of The JCB Academy and Chairman of CBI East Midlands.

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