The morning starts with a meeting of the shadow Local Enterprise Partnership ( LEP ), government's new take on public/private partnerships to promote economic growth.
The major item for discussion is a review of the " Manchester Family ", the collection of companies, MIDAS, Marketing Manchester, New Economy, Manchester Solutions, that are the main deliverers of economic development activity in the city-region. Reorganisation is necessary not least because of the need to accomodate a £4m net cut in funding, but the review also needs to integrate these economic development functions into the new LEP and Greater Manchester Combined Authority arrangements. The recommendations will now be the subject of what I assume will be a public report to next weeks AGMA Executive. Other items were largely progress reports, one being on the recruitment of private sector representatives to the LEP Board proper which we need to be in place by April 1st.
Time to deal with post and urgent e-mails and then it's off to Blackley Village, part of my Crumpsall Ward, to visit Trimega, a new company to the area. They currently employ ten people in Manchester, plan to double that this year and grow to fifty employees within three years. Today they are officially opening a million pound laboratory which specialises in forensic toxicology testing, and their facilities are recognised by their industry's self-regulation body as world-leading. Their testing work focusses primarily on hair testing and I won't pretend to understand the chemistry but it does include the stuff that I've used as the title of this post. The important point of this of course is that here we have an example of a science based company, employing skilled staff, thriving and growing in North Manchester.