Norfolk businesses urged to seize golden opportunity offered by ‘silver pound’

William Dolman with his new plug and socket he has invented. Picture: Matthew Usher.

William Dolman with his new plug and socket he has invented. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The growth of the silver pound presents a golden opportunity - but how can businesses make the most of it?

That is the question being asked at a major conference in Norwich which examines the potential of the county's ageing population, and how inventors and entrepreneurs can better serve them with products and ideas.

The benefits to business are clear - the over-50s market was worth more than £320bn in 2012, accounting for nearly 48 of UK household expenditure, while 2013 figures showed the disposable income of 65 to 74-year-olds was greater than any other age group, at an average of £251 a week.

But Norfolk County Council, which has organised the event, also wants the county to become recognised as leading centre for developing innovative products and services for older people.

Doing that would benefit the whole county, it believes, as the growing market could support businesses and jobs, but could also help keep people well for longer - a priority as life expectancy increases – to reduce pressure on stretched health and social care services.

Speakers at The Silver Pound: a Golden Opportunity conference include Norfolk inventor William Dolman, Jackie Eveleigh from the East of England EU Partnership and Professor Ruth McNally from Anglia Ruskin University, who will explain European funding opportunities.

Haidee Bell from the Design Council will speak about award-winning products which can help people enjoy a better older age, while life sciences minister George Freeman and Graham Creelman, chair of the Norfolk Older People's Strategic Partnership Board will also give the conference their insights.

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Following the event, the council will support firms bringing forward products for older people, and will offer advice on areas including grant funding and business development.

The Silver Pound: a Golden Opportunity conference will be held at the King's Centre in Norwich. Places must be booked by April 29.

To find out more or book your place, go to and search for Silver Pound.