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Expo deal marks start of new partnership between Wigan Council and Edge Hill University
Friday 14th June, 2013

Expo deal marks start of new partnership between Wigan Council and Edge Hill University
Cllr David Molyneux (Deputy Leader of Wigan Council), Bill Bruce ( Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Edge Hill University), Steve Igoe (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) Edge Hill University), Robert Smedley (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Education Edge Hill University) and Lord Peter Smith (Leader of Wigan Council)

One of the North Westís leading universities has signed a deal to sponsor this yearís Wigan Business Expo in whatís hoped will be the start of a unique new partnership with Wigan Council.

Edge Hill University will be the main sponsor of the Expo, the biggest business to business event of its kind in the region. Itís been organised by Wigan Council for the last four years. The university and the council hope the sponsorship deal will mark the start of a new collaborative relationship between the two organisations.

Edge Hill, which has nearly 900 students from Wigan Borough on their books, is the closest university to Wigan. Its main campus in Ormskirk is just over ten miles from the borough. The university wants to forge better relationships with Wigan-based businesses and share some of its expertise with companies in the area. The council hopes the university can help it achieve its economic ambitions and provide more opportunities for young people in Wigan Borough.

Senior councillors and the universityís senior staff have held a series of meetings about how the two organisations can help each other in the future. Although no formal agreement has been signed, itís hoped the Expo deal will be the start of a productive and positive partnership.

The Expo has grown to become one of the biggest business events in the North West. More than 140 companies will exhibit at the event with a thousand delegates expected through the doors. Itís proved one of the most effective networking opportunities for the local business community.

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, said: ďThe council is rightly proud of Wigan Business Expo. Itís an excellent initiative that supports economic growth in the borough. Itís been so successful weíve had other local authorities seek our advice about running similar events in their areas.

ďIím delighted Edge Hill have come on board and agreed to be the main sponsor of our fourth Expo this year. They will bring a new dimension to the event and Iím sure many Wigan-based companies will be keen to talk to them about how the university can support their businesses to grow and develop.Ē

The university wants to offer firms access to its knowledge and demonstrate ways it can help businesses, for example by providing students for placements, delivering bespoke training packages and assisting with research

Bill Bruce, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill University, said: ďWe are really happy to support what is becoming the biggest business to business event in the North West. We look forward to working with Wigan Council to make it a great success.Ē

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