MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director for Silverstone Park, has been announced as one of 100 business people likely to have a significant impact on the UK economy in the next 12 months.
Roz was named as a Face of a Vibrant Economy for 2017 at a Grant Thornton UK ceremony in London.
Grant Thornton is one of the UK’s largest professional services firms. Its Faces of a Vibrant Economy celebrates leaders from across the public, private and third sectors who exemplify what it takes to develop a vibrant economy.
From emerging entrepreneurs to big business names, its 100 Faces list showcases individuals who are delivering against growth, innovation and social purpose.
Roz has been in charge of high-tech business estate Silverstone Park’s development since MEPC took control of the site in September 2013.
Significantly she has also been a prime mover in establishing the Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) – the region within an hour’s drive time of Silverstone identified in a high profile SQW report as being home to around 4,000 companies with exceptional capabilities in high-tech engineering, and recognised by the UK government as having ‘latent potential’.
It was Roz, on behalf of MEPC, who originally commissioned the SQW report in collaboration with Barclays. Roz now represents MEPC on the STC Board.
Roz enthused: “I am proud to have been named as one of Grant Thornton’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy. It’s fantastic to be included in the list and I am looking forward to connecting with the other individuals named, who are all really inspiring and all understand what it takes to get the job done.
“My employer, MEPC Ltd, knows what it takes to create compelling business environments, and has encouraged and supported me as Commercial Director, to lay the foundations for the creation of a global business destination for advanced engineering, electronics and software development at Silverstone Park.
"Our work with partners in 2016, to extend this thinking beyond our boundary and confirm the existence of the Silverstone Technology Cluster, was an important moment. Converting anecdotal evidence into something that government, the finance community and large global corporates can rely on is enabling local companies to start new business development discussions and will create opportunities for years to come.
"With membership of the Silverstone Technology Cluster on the increase, we are now what the government would call ‘an organised high-tech cluster’. One that can support the high-tech activity in the area around Silverstone on a number of themes which are based on our three core objectives of promotion, growth and thought leadership. The STC will be a force for good and for economic prosperity in our area.”
And commented MEPC Chief Executive James Dipple: “Roz accepted the challenge of positioning Silverstone Park as the premier location in the UK for high-performance engineering and technology companies.
“She used her skills in understanding the economic drivers of this diverse sector to present a compelling case about the contribution the region makes to the UK economy. This was manifested when she drew together key stakeholders from large corporates to agile entrepreneurs to produce the Silverstone Technology Cluster Report.
“This body of work crystallised all that is great about the innovative culture in the region and was used to create a blueprint for growth via a new membership organisation championing all the positive benefits of the Cluster."
Grant Thornton’s Advisory Director Mark Clement said: “Our Faces are all exceptional leaders, showing how business can be a force for good in society; how creative approaches to public services and commitment to investing in people can drive superior results and how passion, coupled with purpose and a great idea, can change the world for the better.
“Roz Bird is a shining example of an inspirational leader and her work in driving forward Silverstone Park to create a high quality environment to help innovative, fast growth businesses thrive is reaping huge benefits for these firms.
“We are committed to continually building and connecting our community of Faces and their businesses so they can learn, share ideas, teach others and ultimately continue to grow for the benefit of our economy and society, inspiring others along the way to follow their example.”
Also named as one of the 100 Faces by Grant Thornton last night was Kieron Salter, Managing Director of Brackley company KW Special Projects. Kieron plays a major role in the Silverstone Technology Cluster, heading up its Digital/Advanced Manufacturing special interest group (SIG).