A REPORT produced after a Daily Echo-backed business festival sets out leaders’ thoughts on what the BCP Council area needs to do to thrive.

Representatives from a host of sectors attended a symposium at the end of the BCP Business Festival last year and shared their opinions about the threats and opportunities they saw.

The entrepreneurs’ community Evolve, which organised the event, has published a white paper summarising their opinions.

Warren Munson, founder of Evolve, said the event had seen “meaningful” interaction between business, the public sector and BCP Council, which funded the festival and was represented by deputy leader Cllr Phil Broadhead.

“That word collaboration comes out a lot in the feedback – people wanted more collaboration,” he said.

“It was a great morning. We got the white paper togetherm we collected the opinions and some of the concerns of the businesses, we’ve had that engagement with BCP which I really appreciate – and it’s what’s next.

“I’m keen it has some legacy and it gets some sustainable impact as a result of the event. I’m taking it personally to make sure it happens.”

The white paper sets out the views of groups from creative and digital sector; recruitment; services, products and hospitality; technology; the public sector; professional services; and business-to-business services and products.

They praised the area, its environment and events, and the talent coming out of its universities.

But concerns included the problem of talent draining out of the area; the price of housing; the state of town centres; and the problems of congestion and patchy public transport.

Mr Munson said: “I think the key themes we saw were the recruiting and retention of staff; the desire to improve the relationships with universities and colleges and other public bodies; the importance of place and pride in the BCP area as a place and how we leverage that; and that need for investment in infrastructure.”

The white paper will be available free at evolvemembers.com