|Sporting success will inspire business growth as Wigan Expo nears
Wigan’s businesses can be as successful as the borough’s sporting teams.
That’s the message from the council ahead of the annual Wigan Expo on Friday.
More than 1,500 people are expected to attend what is the biggest event of its kind in the North West. More than 130 small to medium sized businesses will be exhibiting.
It's the fifth year Wigan Council has organised the Expo and it believes the recent success of the borough’s sporting clubs will inspire local companies to expand and encourage other firms to relocate to the borough.
Leigh Centurions have just won the Rugby League Championship Grand Final title after a record-breaking season while Wigan Warriors play in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday - the day after the Expo. The event is held at the Warriors' home ground - the DW Stadium - which they share with Wigan Athletic Football Club.
Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “The recent success of our sports teams has raised the profile of the borough nationally and given the area a new sense of confidence and pride that I believe has fed into the business community.
“Success is in our DNA. Wigan Borough's sports teams and businesses share common traits - hard work, commitment and ambition. We've got a winning culture in this borough that I believe can inspire local companies to succeed and encourage other firms to do business here.”
The Expo is the biggest event in the borough's business calendar and comes as a new campaign to support local firms is launched. The council has come up with a new “deal for business” that includes a commitment to provide improved support to companies based in the borough.
A new business engagement team, made up of six dedicated officers each tasked with supporting the business community, has recently been formed. Firms will be able to get advice on a variety of subjects including access to funding, looking for suitable premises, recruiting new starters, apprenticeship programmes and developing staff.
The engagement team will be on hand at the Expo to offer advice to the hundreds of companies expected at what's grown to become the biggest event of its kind in the region. It's the first time the Expo has been held since the economy has been said to be growing. The council wants to capitalise on the improved economic outlook and encourage companies to expand and even relocate to Wigan.
Richard Waterfield, chair of Waterfield’s Bakery and the Wigan Forward Board, said: “Wigan Borough is known internationally for sporting excellence and that world class sporting success can be matched in the borough’s boardrooms and shop floors.
“The council’s dedicated business engagement team will provide a fantastic platform for us to grow the local economy. We can support the needs of businesses already here and help persuade other companies to move here and be part of our success story.”