Cllr Mountney asked where the relationship managers were from and what their skillsets are? Paula Basnett said some were from industry and the others were long term local authority employees. Two were long term local authority officers and three were fairly new but all of them had degrees. One was based on the IT sector, the construction sector relationship manager was a woman (who previously had had no background in construction but had learnt over the last two years). The other three had been longer in the team but had had no sector experience except for the last two years. In future they wouldn’t recruit local authority officers but buy in from sector experts instead.
Cllr Stuart Wittingham asked about the business forum. Paula Basnett replied that it is password protected, but they check the address and contact details. They had had lots of enquiries from Liverpool companies with offices in Wirral, but it was only for Wirral companies and businesses.
Cllr Pat Hackett said it was hard to find investment. Cllr Phil Davies arrived. Cllr Pat Hackett asked if there was proactive matching done between investors and businesses to invest in? He said it was important not to rest on their laurels and to have vision, strategy and ideas.
Paula Basnett said the appointment of an inward investment manager would help them to work closely with investors, to go out and be proactive and make organisations aware of the development sites on the Wirral. They also supported indiginous businesses. An investor was looking at Birkenhead Town Hall which had been a referral from Cllr George Davies. The investment manager would develop the inward investment strategy which would identify potential investors.