27th November 2008

Conference aims to avert credit crunch

Torbay Council is hoping to help local people steer clear of financial difficulty during the credit crunch by holding a . . .

Torbay Council is hoping to help local people steer clear of financial difficulty during the credit crunch by holding a conference in Torbay, it has been revealed. According to This is South Devon, a number of community forums and road shows have been scheduled to run alongside the credit crunch conference as part of a co-ordinated approach to ensure residents navigate the economic downturn effectively and assist the resort of Torbay as a whole through the difficult times.

Significantly, Torbay Council is likely to stimulate the local economy simply by holding the credit crunch conference, as people who attend the event are likely to pour money into local amenities while they are there. This is one of the major attractions of holding a conference for event organisers, with British seaside towns having stressed the importance of hosting political conferences in the past as they provide much-needed income in the off-season.

The Torbay event will include speeches from Peter Gripaios, professor of applied economics at Plymouth Business School, and Jon Bright, regional director of Government Office South West. Their focus will be on how different components of the local economy - including the government and public, voluntary and service sectors - can combine to improve the economic status quo.

All will be welcome at the credit crunch conference, with attendees expected to include local residents as well as business people and local companies are expected to use the event to showcase their goods and services. This will offer them a vital chance to promote their brands in the community and could help them gain vital business. Those at the forums, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to ask expert speakers questions, and sessions will be run by organisations including Business Link, Cool Recovery, Torbay Pound, Citizen's Advice Bureau, Age Concern and Job Centre Plus.

Commenting on the importance of the event, Torbay mayor Nick Bye told the newspaper: "We hope by working together as partners we can raise awareness of all the help which is already available to the public, but also look at new solutions and ways of working to help Torbay weather the current economic circumstances."

This sentiment was added to by conference organiser Aviva Pearson, who told the same publication: "The advice and help we will be offering during the community forums is for all residents, working or unemployed, of all ages and needs. We know there are many people who are in need of support, and perhaps they are either not aware of or afraid to ask for help for a variety of reasons."

The credit crunch conference is due to take place at the Riviera International Conference Centre on Thursday, December 4th. As its name suggests, the Riviera International Conference Centre was built with conferences in mind and it happens to be one of the businesses in Torbay which is doing well in spite of the economic downturn. Indeed, conference facilities have been booked out throughout the year and 2,250 people are expected to have passed through the building's doors by the end of December.

The venue will also play host to the community forum, which will be held later that same afternoon, while forums in Paignton and Brixham will follow on Friday, December 5th and Monday, December 8th respectively.