Annual report 2016: Our regional business transcript

Stephanie Hyde: Our regional business has had another impressive year, delivering significant profitable growth with fantastic stories of innovation and investment, helping our clients respond to changing times.

The country is now planning for its future following the EU referendum, and the early signals from our Prime Minister have opened the door to our cities and regions.

Local leaders - from both the private and the public sector - need to come together to create the foundations for a new deal. One that shows individuals and communities the benefits of good growth for all.

Our regional business will have a central role in making this happen and in the last year we have helped many of our regional cities deliver projects that support this. Jonathan House from our Manchester office is here to explain what we’ve been doing…

Jonathan House: The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the world - but this is beginning to change, we’re seeing a process of powers, resources and accountability transferring to our regions

This is vitally important for the economic prosperity and growth of the regions and the country as a whole.

We are leading the discussion in what good growth looks like in our regions -

We have been supporting many of the conversations on this to enable these city deals to take place.

These deals are being focussed on two main elements.  Firstly on good growth which is all about economic development, transport and infrastructure, as well as the skills agenda.

Secondly, it’s been focussed on public sector reform.

Manchester has one of the most ambitious and advanced devolution agendas - over the last year we have helped shape the health and social care landscape in Greater Manchester, we’ve been supporting 37 organisations to help in developing their financial strategy and transformation plan.  This is in order to bridge the £2bn gap in health and social care spending and improve the outcomes for health for 2.8 million people.

Stephanie Hyde: Thanks Jonathan.

As a major regional business ourselves, part of our investment in the regions is in our offices and we’ve moved into a number of new offices, refurbished and expanded others, and signed some new leases for the coming years.

One of these is our new Bristol office and here’s Kirstie Pottier to show you around…

Kirstie Pottier: We've been in the new office now for just over a year.

And I, and the rest of the Bristol team, are really enjoying working in this great place, we had a key role in designing it. 

When thinking about how the space would be used, not only did we need to think about our needs now but it also needed to be capable to adapt to the changing world.

The outcome is this unique and flexible workspace with some amazing collaboration areas for meetings, for client events and seminars. We have already seen our clients and the local communities benefit from the facilities.

We know it is a fantastic space and so the icing on the cake was to win the British Council for Offices award which showed that they recognised it too!

Stephanie Hyde: Thanks Kirstie. 

There are many world class sector clusters across the UK. That’s why we have continued to invest in our regional hubs across the country with specialist industrial and technical knowledge to support our clients in their local market.

Belfast, with a strong focus on technology, is one example where investment over a number of years has fundamentally changed our impact in the local market and beyond.

Aisling McGibbon explains more …

Aisling McGibbon: Together with Google, we’ve created one of only three Innovation Labs worldwide, working closely with our clients across UK and Europe, using digital technology to drive innovation and new ways of working.

Here in the Hive -Belfast’s collaborative technology and innovation space - we’re introducing our global clients to both augmented and virtual reality, encouraging them interact with artificial intelligence and transforming the way they work.

We’ve developed Catalyst - a unique solution that’s helping to transform some of Europe’s leading retail chains… from purchasing and finance to customer interaction and retention, we’re helping to modernise the way the world shops.

We’re home to PwC’s global centre for blockchain technology where we’re exploiting our knowledge to revolutionise and transform the world’s banking, insurance and security industries.

And with over 1,300 people here in Belfast, our technology-enabled, people-powered operations are helping to change the world.

Stephanie Hyde: Thanks Aisling.

Alongside our investment in our offices and our product offerings, it’s equally as important to ensure we are attracting and developing the best talent in the regions.

On 1st July 2016, 28 of the new partners admitted, nearly half of the national intake, were from our regional business. We anticipate that at least 55% of our September 2016 graduates will join our regional practice.

We’ve also introduced new development programmes such as our Private Business Talent Academy, which is for our next generation of regional leaders, focusing on the key relationship skills required in this dynamic market.

I’m really proud of our regional business during these changing times. We’re on the ground, where our clients are, helping them to solve their most important problems and have one of the strongest regional presences of any professional services firm in the UK.

After a successful year, I’m energised about our future and the role we have to play in re-balancing the UK economy.

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