Peak team’s bid to help firms

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A NEW business support group for companies in the Peak District has been launched to help boost trade and create jobs.

Business Peak District held its inaugural meeting at Thornbridge Hall, near Great Longstone, earlier this month where 138 businesses turned out to learn about its structure and plans for the future.

Chief executive Jim Dixon, of Peak District National Park Authority, who helped set up the group, said: “There was an incredible breadth of interest from different industries and trades and the group is keen to develop existing opportunities and promote good quality skills in companies with on-the-job training.”

The group has established a board with representatives from land and farming, tourism, manufacturing, retail, property and transport and has appointed Thornbridge Brewery boss Jim Harrison as its chairman.

Backers who attended the meeting included Derby University dean Dr Peter Dewhurst, who spoke about the importance of training, and others included Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive George Cowcher and the National Apprenticeship Service’s employer services manager John Danks.

Group chairman Jim Harrison said: “This group will give a voice to every Peak District business so I would urge them all to get involved.”

The group aims to increase investment in local businesses and aims to expand the range of company types. Those interested are urged to visit the group’s website www.businesspeakdistrict.com for details.