Grant Thornton UK announces Vibrant Economy Commission

October 18, 2016

Commission set to steer a series of inquiries into how businesses, cities and communities realise potential and inspire growth
Grant Thornton UK LLP has launched its Vibrant Economy Commission, which will guide the leading business and financial adviser’s efforts to build a vision for a vibrant economy.
According to Chris Frostwick, partner and practice leader of the firm’s East Midlands office in Leicester, the Commission is a key platform for a spirit of shared enterprise that will enable economic prosperity in the region:
“We know that local people, local businesses and local government have a shared interest in creating a vibrant economy from which we can all benefit,” he says.  “Equally, we know that it can be all too easy to talk about what ‘other people’ should do to create that. 
“Vibrant Economy is about bringing together the public, private and third sectors to work in collaboration to create something that allows us all to prosper.  No one group or organisation has all the answers – we want to try to create a platform where organisations can come together in a spirit of shared enterprise, focusing on what we can all agree on and action, rather than debating what we disagree about.”
Grant Thornton’s Vibrant Economy Commission is made up of leading names committed to action and change, and will examine the challenges and opportunities facing UK business and society. “It will focus on tackling the issues affecting companies, cities, people and communities, and identify how growth can be more equally shared to allow the UK to reach its full potential,” explains Chris.
Through a series of nationwide inquiries, the Vibrant Economy Commission aims to stimulate new ideas and actions that will shape a vibrant economy for the UK. 
The commissioners bring together diverse knowledge and insight, but a shared commitment to change, and include:

·         Will Butler-Adams (CEO, Brompton Bicycle)

·         Tunji Akintokun (Director – Cisco, Africa)

·         Gerald Brady (Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank)

·         Claire Braithwaite (Ventures & Partnerships, The Co-operative Group)

·         Nida Broughton (Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation)

·         Gemma Godfrey (Founder & CEO,

·         Paul Lindley (Founder and Chairman, Ella's Kitchen)

·         Alice Maynard (Non-Executive Director and Business Adviser)

·         Jean Oelwang (President, Virgin Unite & Senior Partner, B Team)

·         Deb Oxley (Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association)

·         Nick Roberts (Chief Executive Officer, UK & Europe, Atkins)

·         Kim Ryley (Chair, Solace in Business)

·         Nicole Vanderbilt (VP International, Etsy)

Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:
“As a firm we've set a bold strategic agenda anchored in our purpose of helping to shape a vibrant economy, grounded in the belief that great businesses work holistically to contribute to the system on which their sustainable growth depends. Following the successful city inquiry in Sheffield we will be launching a series of nationwide inquiries, convening people from the public, private and third sector to look at how we can achieve this. To add rigour to our work, I’m delighted to be able to announce the launch of our Vibrant Economy Commission made up of external people, to oversee this work and to ensure the insights create lasting value for the UK economy.”
Will Butler-Adams, Brompton Bicycle CEO and Chair of the Vibrant Economy Commission, said: “The purpose of this commission is not to dictate what a better UK looks like, but to ensure collaboration across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors of society.
“I’m confident that this commission will play a key role in stimulating ideas and activity that will help create a more vibrant economy – one that realises the shared potential of the UK. One in which growth is more sustainable, prosperity more widely shared, and people and communities are better able to realise their potential.”
The commission members have put their names to a public letter calling on representatives from the business and public sector worlds to join up with community representatives to help them understand how they can shape a more vibrant economy for the UK. The announcement follows research conducted by Grant Thornton and CEBR which found that untapping the potential of the UK’s economy could be worth up to £479bn by 2025.
Grant Thornton has its East Midlands office in Leicester, where it has approximately 160 staff providing business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.

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