New CBI East of England chairman Andy Wood speaking at the organisation's Mid Winter Lunch, at which he officially took up the role

‘Remove the growth barriers’ urges new CBI boss for the east

By Ben Woods Business writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
7.43 PM

Adnams boss Andy Wood has started his new role at the CBI with a clarion call to businesses to build on their strengths and help “remove the barriers to growth”

Dr Wood was appointed the chairman of the CBI’s east of England division on Tuesday after Stephen Bourne, the former chief executive of Cambridge University Press, stepped down.

The move adds another string to Dr Wood’s bow who is already the chief executive of Adnams brewers and the chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

During the CBI’s mid-winter lunch, Dr Wood set out his agenda for helping the east overcome the “severe economic test” facing the country, including a need to remove the “barriers to growth”.

Speaking to 200 CBI members he said: “We can be proud that here in the east of England we have some of the most forward thinking, hard working entrepreneurial businesses in Britain.

“The UK is facing a severe economic test. Restoring growth, reducing the deficit and re-balancing the economy are urgent priorities – therefore barriers to growth must be removed to shift the economy to a more resilient and resource-efficient path.

“We need to be maximising our existing strengths in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, agri-food, green technology and services, creative industries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and knowledge intensive business services – the home of many which are here in the east of England.

“The east can rightly claim to be the home of a thriving and successful green economy. The work of groups such as the Green Economy Pathfinder shows that low carbon is part of the answer to our current economic challenges not part of the problem.

“The CBI, along with just about every other business group in the region, is hearing from its members that infrastructure is fundamental to economic recovery.

He added: “We can applaud decisions that have been made in Whitehall that are seeing investment in the A11 for example and the introduction of superfast broadband in many of our counties will make a major difference. This needs to continue though with key projects such as the A14 needing urgent attention.”