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Yesterday, the Chancellor hosted the next series of his Treasury Connect Conferences in Plexal on the Here East campus. The event brought together leading figures from across the industry and other key stakeholders from finance and regulatory bodies to explore how to drive growth across green industries and maintain the UK’s global leadership today and in the future.

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, opened the event by restating the five pledges the PM laid out in the exact location just a month prior. Drawing upon the spirit of 2012 - in his address, the Chancellor reflected upon his time as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and his very first experience of Here East during the London Olympic games, noting “It is a source of incredible pride that this place has taken off as a tech hub". Gavin Poole, Here East CEO, and Andrew Roughan, Plexal CEO, talked to the Chancellor about the history of Here East and the vision that led to their bid, winning the rights to develop the site. The original vision encapsulated 4 principles to drive an ecosystem of growth that endures today. Education, Employment, Enterprise, and Environment. How they have shaped the campus’ success over the past 10 years was not lost on the Chancellor who recently stated the Treasury's guiding principles for growth. The 4 E’s, with ‘Environment’ replaced by ‘Everywhere’.

Shortly after that, the Secretary of State for Energy Security & Net Zero, Grant Shapps, and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Therese Coffey, joined the Chancellor for an exploratory discussion on the intersection between innovation and regulation and how aligning interests, making processes smarter, would stimulate growth across the green energy sector.

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At Here East, we understand that building an economy on the principles of innovation drives growth and creates IP, products and services with clear export potential. The same sentiment was echoed by the Chancellor who acknowledged the “incredible strengths in innovation industries”.

Noted by Therese Coffey, it is clear from the proceedings that “For the UK, our green industries are absolutely strategic”. Indeed, green energy is an emerging market and whilst financing and regulation may be localised in London, developing green skills is an opportunity that should exist nationwide. Focusing on regional development across these sectors through education and apprentice programmes seeking to bridge this skills gap will inspire prosperity across the country and return job prospects to regions where other industries have declined in recent years.

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Already in 2023, we can see that all political parties are seeking to establish a firm bedrock of policy initiatives that drive economic growth across sectors. This visit closely follows the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition’s addresses at Here East, where, a day apart, they delivered their priorities for the year ahead from our campus.

As a tech and innovation campus rooted in driving growth for London and the country, it is no surprise that Here East offers a perfect backdrop for policy-defining moments and discussions. As home to a diverse network of innovators, collaborators, academics and global businesses, we can provide a platform for debates surrounding energy security, resilience and the move towards net zero.

It was an honour to host the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Energy Security & Net Zero, and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, amongst other cabinet members and government ministers in Plexal at Here East yesterday, for a timely and insightful discussion on the importance of ensuring the UK maintains its advantage in the green energy sector. As we continue to achieve net zero, the UK has many opportunities to lead the world in cutting-edge green technologies.

Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East

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