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NFDC at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show: Setting the scene for a prosperous future

Cllr Michael Harris launching NFDC's 2018-2023 Economic Development Strategy New Forest District Council rounded off a successful three days at the 2018 New Forest and Hampshire County Show on Thursday 26 July by focusing on the New Forest economy.

The theme of our stand at this year's show was 'Community Matters', focusing on three different strands over the three days of the show. The focus on the final day of the show was PROSPERITY, with activities on the stand designed to highlight the council's vision for the economy of the district and the support available for business. 

Councillor Michael Harris, NFDC portfolio holder for local economic development, launched our 2018-2023 Economic Development Strategy, commenting:

"This strategy will set the vision and key economic targets for the district over the next five years, with the aim of delivering a vibrant and growing local economy. The New Forest is the third largest economy in Hampshire, with over 9,000 enterprises, more than either Southampton or Portsmouth, demonstrating that the New Forest is a great place to do business. Our strategy recognises the challenges and very real opportunities ahead of us and will enable us to spread the word that the New Forest is open for business."

Councillor Harris, accompanied by a life size Star Wars Storm Trooper, also officially launched the 2019 New Forest Film Festival, which will take place from 8 - 16 June next year. He said:

"Filming brings real economic benefit to the New Forest, both in monetary terms and in the opportunities it provides for skilled employment. Next year's New Forest Film Festival will be a treat which will celebrate the wonderful location we live in and the abundance of opportunities it gives film producers, along with the films and people that have taken advantage of what the New Forest has to offer."

Throughout the day visitors could enjoy posing for selfies with the Storm Trooper and watching a new film made by Film:NewForest promoting the New Forest as the ideal film location and voiced by renowned film critic Mark Kermode, which was shown in the stand's mini-cinema, complete with free popcorn. Excerpts from recent films and TV which have used the New Forest as a location were also shown; including ITV's Unforgotten, Mission Impossible and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Atthe start of the way we hosted the New Forest Business Partnership Business Breakfast on our stand. Tips for business start-ups were available at business advice clinics with Enterprise First running throughout the day. Visitors could learn more about the New Forest's economy with a game of 'Play Your Business Cards Right' or test their film knowledge by guessing the film location.

Published: 26 Jul 2018
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