PLANS for a major event to showcase Cheshire’s world-class business credentials have got off to a flying start - with its launch event in Chester attracting widespread media attention.

Celebrate Cheshire – a large-scale, two-day ‘business and community expo’ at Chester Racecourse – aims to unite the private, public and voluntary sectors behind a dynamic new approach and showcase the careers and training opportunities in Cheshire.

Cheshire-based businesses, major organisations and local authorities all came together to launch the event.

The news of the expo, which will take place on September 16 and 17, has received widespread exposure both nationally and regionally. Plans are now well advanced for the big event.

Its aim is to highlight the ‘Cheshire Factors’ which have contributed to the sub-region’s success as the North West’s strongest economy – worth more than £22bn – and will set out Cheshire and Warrington’s compelling proposition for economic investment and business relocation to as wide an audience as possible.

Celebrate Cheshire is being put together by Marketing Cheshire and Cheshire business leaders, with widespread backing from the county’s business community, local authorities, Cheshire and Warrington’s new Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as well as the education and voluntary sectors.

This private sector led initiative has the backing of Cheshire-based blue chip companies, including M&S Money, Birchwood Park, Warrington, Bank of America; Bentley Motors and Grosvenor Estates.

These are alongside Mornflake and Urenco, as well as prominent figures, such as David Briggs, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Neville Chamberlain, chairman of Cheshire Business Leaders.

Andrew Donaldson, founder of Cheshire’s BiG Storage Company and chairman of the event’s organising committee, said: “Celebrate Cheshire will be an unprecedented two-day event that we are confident will act as a catalyst for investment and growth, regeneration, enterprise and development.

“The event has been made possible by a genuine and effective partnership approach, by everyone working collectively towards a common objective, which is very heartening for the sub-region’s future economic wellbeing.

“We have brought together many of the major companies in Cheshire, alongside its innovative and hard-working SMEs, to fully support us in all ways – including backing the event financially.”

Celebrate Cheshire will promote its successful businesses, skilled workforce, training and educational facilities, career opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow, as well highlighting property and development opportunities.

There will be a free admission exhibition of Cheshire’s products and services throughout the event.

Celebrate Cheshire will concentrate on corporate Cheshire on the first day, Friday, September 16, with a business breakfast, hosted by the Financial Times, deliver a comprehensive business seminar and conference programme, and conclude with the Trinity Mirror Cheshire Business Awards.

On day two – Saturday, September 17 - the event will Celebrate Community Cheshire and concentrate on showcasing the training, job, volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities in Cheshire.

There will be something for everyone with a full and diverse programme of activities with sessions ranging from careers in manufacturing to science in action to make your own dragon.

The event will be interspersed with celebrity appearances, sport challenges with professional sports teams, and hands on chances to try something new.

There will be an opportunity to Taste Cheshire as well and to view the diverse events and cultural offering in the sub region.

It is open to everyone and in the next few weeks we will keep you informed about the event and tell you how to register to attend, free of charge, and be in with a chance to win one of three exciting prizes being offered to event visitors.