Recent conferences hailed a success for Greater Lincolnshire

Two conferences organised by the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub provided opportunities for discussion and knowledge sharing in two vital sectors – manufacturing and the visitor economy.

The Greater Lincolnshire Manufacturing Conference returned in March with an impressive collaboration of robotic demonstrations, industry experts and engaging panel discussions on robots versus humans in the production process. 

Over 120 delegates from across the county attended the event, hosted by Business Lincolnshire in partnership with NatWest, which included tours of the production line at the host venue, Sleaford Quality Foods. 

An expert panel made up of representatives from AMP Automation, OrderWise, Siemens and the University of Lincoln discussed how manufacturers can identify gaps and opportunities within their own production and across the industry for adopting robotic technology to solve production capacity conundrums. 

Mark Norris, Head of Industrials at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, talked about how Brexit is likely to affect manufacturing businesses, including their export potential, EU workforces and costs of importing materials. 

Sleaford Quality Foods Managing Director James Arnold said: “It’s been an interesting and informative day for all, and we are pleased to have been a part of this year’s event. 

"Having been involved in the industry for 50 years, it’s exciting to see where the manufacturing sector is heading in terms of innovation, automation and use of robotics.”

At the end of March over 100 business people in the tourism and heritage sector gathered at Doddington Hall near Lincoln for the Heritage Works for Lincolnshire conference.

Sponsored by Wilkin Chapman LLP, the event highlighted the latest opportunities in the tourism industry and helped businesses think strategically about how they position themselves around major tourism events, Lincolnshire's heritage sites and celebrations.

The guest speaker was Dr Jonathan Foyle, presenter of BBC’s Climbing Great Buildings, who gave an animated presentation on leveraging Lincolnshire’s historic buildings as “buildings of imagination”.

He encouraged engagement with the younger audience through many historic buildings representing the fantastical beliefs of our ancestors, which form the basis for the idyllic fairy tale castles that engage young readers and inspirational settings for so many modern-day films and stories.

He also talked about Lincolnshire’s wide open spaces being a land of imagination whose story is of huge potential and yet to be finished – Lincolnshire needs to find its voice.

“It’s been a marvellous collaboration of so many different speakers, talking about tourism in Lincolnshire from all angles,” said Jonathan.

“It’s particularly interesting to see the tourism sector integrating with digital technology and marketing to really bring it to life and engage new audiences."