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CHAMBER LOOKS TO FUTURE; Official launch of Wirral body.

Byline: TONY MCDONOUGH Business Reporter @tonymc39

MORE than 250 people gathered for the official launch of the new Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

The new chamber was formed in October last year following a merger with Wirral Business Partnership (WBP).

The original chamber, which had been in existence for more than 100 years, revealed last summer that it was fighting for its future.

In early autumn, members were asked to vote on two rescue plans - a merger with Liverpool Chamber or one with WBP.

They chose the latter option with the new organisation being led by Paula Basnett, who had been chief executive of WBP.

At the official launch at the Hillbark Hotel in Frankby, Ms Basnett told the audience that only by working with its membership can Wirral Chamber make a real difference in the growth of prosperity in Wirral's economy.

She added: "Wirral Chamber of Commerce is in a very strong position to drive forward strategies for economic development particularly when bidding for publicly-funded business support programmes.

"We will be engaging with our membership and exploring all opportunities to develop new initiatives and secure resources, create business accommodation for new and young enterprise growth, and we will encourage our businesses to look at developing their export markets and international trade."

Wirral West Tory MP Esther McVey is honorary president of the chamber and addressed the audience.

She said: "I am confident it will act as a key provider of support and resources to Wirral businesses, and by linking with Government, the local Council and the wider business community it will allow businesses to have a greater impact locally, regionally and nationally."

The event concluded with a motivational presentation by broadcaster and Olympic medalist Steve Smith.

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CONFIDENCE: MP Esther McVey addresses the launch event
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 13, 2014
Words:296
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