Lancaster’s business community gathered to celebrate a “re-energised” chamber of commerce this week.
Over 100 people attended the rebrand of Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce - now called North Lancashire Chamber - at Lancaster Town Hall on Thursday May 26.
Speakers included Chamber President John Regan, Alistair Eagles of Heysham based Seatruck Ferries, Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Economic Partnership (LEP), and incoming Lancaster City Council chief executive Susan Parsonage.
John Regan said the chamber board had got together to talk “root and branch” about what the chamber does, and what it wants to achieve in the future.
Chamber ambassador Alistair Eagles, from Seatruck Ferries, said: “The Chamber has changed quite a lot.
“It’s changing right now, and it’s an exciting time for the area.
“I’m fearful that people think the new link road is going to be magical.
“It’s going to be brilliant, but this is now about grasping a much bigger opportunity.
“When that ribbon is cut, there isn’t going to be a magical line of trailers. We’re not going to suddenly be able to keep our museums open. It’s a bigger task than that.
“Lancaster is not like Leeds, or Manchester. It’s an underdog, and for an underdog to really perform we have to work that bit harder, and come together rather than fighting eachother.”
Susan Parsonage, incoming Lancaster City Council chief executive, said: “I think Lancaster is amazing.
“It has a real uniqueness in terms of its history.
“I want to make this place my home as well as working hard as chief executive.
“I also want to make it easy to do business with the council.
“It’s really important that the council delivers on the councillors objectives, and also that the council has a key role to play in the ‘place’ - to create a great place - being a facilitator, a catalyst and many other things.
“What strikes me here is the positive energy in the room.
“I’m really looking forward to working with you and I’m sure it will be a real pleasure.”
She talked about the “importance of vision”, and having key objectives and keeping them simple.
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Economic Partnership (LEP) and of E H Booth & Co Ltd, said that 2016 is the year that Lancashire “comes out”.
He talked about the projects across the county that the LEP had already initiated, adding: “I’m hoping that there will be a lot more attention paid to this area of the county in the future.
“I’m thrilled to see so many of the business community that have come to hear about the re-energised chamber.”