27 January 2011

Business leaders in the county have met with Northamptonshire County Council and The University of Northampton to see how they could play a role in shaping the Big Society.

Delegates gathered at a business breakfast event yesterday (Jan 26) to see how the private sector and public bodies could work together to improve lives for people across Northamptonshire.

Cllr David Mackintosh, county council cabinet member for strategy, communications and external relations, said: “This was an exciting opportunity for public bodies and businesses to work together to improve outcomes for the people of the county.

“We need business and industry to engage in our work on building the Big Society and we need to understand how businesses see their role in this.

“We’re also exploring how much interest there is in business developing social enterprises.

“This is very much the beginning of this concept. We’re not entirely sure how things will work but early indications are that people are willing to play their part.”

The business leaders were part of the Ambassadors Programme – an initiative run by Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited to promote the county externally.

The business breakfast follows on from the Big Society conference which was held on October 2 in partnership with The Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

At the time Northamptonshire County Council and The University of Northampton announced that they would establish a leadership academy for Northamptonshire to support the training and development of local people who want to make a contribution to their communities and neighbourhoods.

The leadership academy would give individuals who want to get more involved in their local community a place where people can come together and meet with successful charities and voluntary groups, entrepreneurs and leading business figures who will share their expertise, experience and advice.