A major conference for regional business leaders on electrification and sustainability has been hailed as a ‘tremendous success’, and the start of a new era of collaboration.

Held at Telford College, it marked the official launch of a new Telford Electrification Network Group (TenG) – designed to build on some of the debates kick-started at the conference.

The event was run in association with WMG at the University of Warwick, Telford Business Board and Telford & Wrekin Council, and included presentations from high-profile guest speakers, plus interactive displays, and a question-and-answer panel.

Speakers included WMG trio Professor Robin Clark, Professor David Greenwood and Dr Benjamin Silverstone.

They also took part in a Q&A panel with Telford & Wrekin Council chief executive David Sidaway, Marches Local Enterprise Partnership chief executive Rachel Laver, and Telford Business Board’s sustainability specialist Andy Whyle.

There was also a video message from West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, praising the initiative, and the collaboration.

Dr Silverstone said the event was an ‘excellent opportunity for business in and around Telford to see what opportunities there are to support their future aspirations’. 

Delegates, who included owners and chief executives from some of the region’s leading businesses, were invited to register their interest for the new TenG group.

Janet Stephens, Telford College’s deputy chief executive, said: “The group has been created to keep businesses connected and networked around upskilling the workforce for the electric revolution, and will be run jointly by the college and WMG.

“Benefits of getting involved include the chance to upskill members of your workforce around the opportunities which electrification can bring.

“There will also be opportunities to help design the college curriculum to ensure it meets the skills development needs of employers, and invitations to more networking events, sharing best practice with like-minded local businesses.

“Being part of TenG will also give you chance to add your voice to lobbying activities with local, regional and national stakeholders.

“There is a real momentum towards reducing the UK’s reliance on traditional fossil fuels. How do we prepare for the electric revolution? How do we meet the skills challenges this will bring? And what else must we do to reach our net zero targets?

“These are just some of the questions which members of the TenG group will be considering.”

The event generated positive feedback from delegates, including Mark Thompson, managing director of Telford-based renewable energy and battery specialists AceOn, who described it as a ‘tremendous success’.

“It is wonderful to see the work going on to form new partnerships and collaborations across the region, and the role Telford College is playing in this regard,” he said.

“Having input from the likes of West Midlands mayor Andy Street is good for the college, good for Telford and good for the region. There was a real buzz about the event and an energy among all involved to build on its success.”