October 26, 2016, by Charlotte Anscombe
Success for Nottingham in Parliament Day
Nottingham has blazed a trail for others to follow, according to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
John Bercow MP was full of praise for Nottingham in Parliament Day, a one-day takeover of Westminster by more than 100 organisations from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
“Nottingham has shown itself to be a leader,” Mr Bercow said at the event on October 25th. “And where you have led, others may now follow.”
2,500 guests, 45 events
The day saw more than 2,500 guests gather at 45 events across Parliament, celebrating all that is great about Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The event showcased Nottingham business, education, research, culture, sport and global connections, bringing together a broad range of organisations with their roots in the county.
With large and small companies involved alongside charities, public bodies, arts organisations, sports teams and celebrities, Nottingham in Parliament Day was an unprecedented exercise in co-operation intended to raise Nottingham’s profile in the corridors of power.
Investing in Notts
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “Sometimes we feel that as a city and a county we undersell ourselves. So we thought: rather than trying to bring people to us all the time, what better way to raise our profile and show what we can do than taking Nottingham to the capital? Why don’t we use our connections as a University to build alliances and partnerships?
“And that is what we have done with Nottingham in Parliament Day. It’s all about persuading government that our city and region is worth investing in. About persuading people far and wide that this is a great place to live, to work, to study, to invest in. And about using all of that to improve the opportunities available to everyone who lives here.”
Highlights of the day included ‘The Future of Food’ featuring a dish created by Michelin-starred Nottingham chef Sat Bains; a live chemistry experiment in Old Palace Yard, with Professor Martyn Poliakoff and Universities Minister Jo Johnson; a high-level debate on Nottingham’s role as a driver of the Midlands Engine; sessions on the future of energy, healthcare, transport and justice; and a campaign that has declared Nottingham a ‘City of Zero Tolerance to FGM’.
Jo Johnson, Science and Universities Minister, said on the BBC’s Daily Politics Show: “The university is at the cutting edge of so much that is brilliant about our higher education system and I’m delighted that Nottingham in Parliament Day is demonstrating that to a wider audience.”
A great story to tell
A special edition of University Challenge saw a House of Commons team of MPs take on a team of professors from the University of Nottingham, while sports on offer on Speaker’s Green and New Palace Yard included table tennis, football, archery (with Robin Hood, naturally) and cricket.
Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive of Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, summed it up when he spoke at the evening business reception. He said: “Nottingham has a great story to tell – and the ambition to tell it.”