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Webinar: Economic recovery and the future of the Southampton city-region: challenges and opportunities

Thursday 15 October 2020 – 8.30am to 9:30 am

Join us for the latest Cratus webinar where, joined by an esteemed panel representing some of the largest employers in the region, we will discuss the economy of the Southampton city-region, the various economic drivers and the challenges and opportunities for recovery.

We will explore themes including Brexit, attracting greater inward investment to the area, providing greater transport connectivity and the potential for a recovery grounded in clean and sustainable methods. 

We are also very much looking forward to hearing about Southampton’s City of Culture bid.  

Chaired by Marlies Koutstaal, Cratus Director for Southampton, our panel will include: 

  • Cllr Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council 
  • Professor Mark Smith CBE, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton
  • Steve Szalay, Operations Director of Southampton Airport 

This discussion will be of particular interest to individuals and organisations including:

Housebuilders, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, leisure and tourism operators, education providers, local politicians, planners, professional services, policy leaders and those working across the sustainability, maritime, aviation, logistics, technology and infrastructure sectors.

We will be taking live questions during the webinar or in advance via #AskCratus on Twitter.  Please follow @CratusComm for updates.

Cllr Christopher Hammond 

Cllr Christopher Hammond was elected as Leader of Southampton City Council in 2018 and is one of the UK’s youngest leaders of a major city at 32.  As Leader, he has spearheaded measures to address climate change, tackle air pollution, create a sustainable council, build affordable and innovative housing and invest in young people, with the overall aim of unlocking the city’s potential. 

He holds a degree from Bournemouth University, who named him Alumnus of the year for Enriching Society in 2019. He is a small business owner in Southampton, a Board Director on Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the current Vice-Chair of the Partnership for South Hampshire. 

Professor Mark Smith CBE, FREng, FInstP 

Prof. Mark Smith became President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton in October 2019, having previously held the same position at the University of Lancaster. He specialises in nuclear magnetic resonance and material physics. He was awarded a CBE for services to research and higher education in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

He also chairs the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group for Higher Education and the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and has recently been appointed as a Council member of the All-Party Parliamentary University Group.

Steve Szalay 

Steve Szalay became Operations Director of Southampton Airport in June, championing a larger runway ever since. He spent over twenty years in the British Army, rising to Lieutenant Colonel, before joining the Aviation Industry. His last role was as Managing Director of Aberdeen Airport. He has an MSc from Cranfield University in Simulation and Modelling and an MA from King’s College London in Defence Studies. 

Marlies Koutstaal

Marlies has extensive experience with complex community consultation programmes and an in-depth understanding of how large-scale projects can be successfully introduced to, and integrated with, the communities that host them. Alongside the wider Cratus capabilities around direct advisory for local authorities and building communities on new, larger scale settlements, she also spearheads Cratus’ work in Southampton and across the south coast. She provides development communications support for projects spanning the full spectrum of property sectors, with a particular interest in renewable energy. 

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