Central South All-Party Parliamentary Group Launched at Westminster

Published: February 24 2023

An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been created to highlight issues in the Central South region, offering business leaders an effective means of raising their concerns with the MPs who represent them.

Business South has been working with the office of Dame Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, to make the APPG a reality and a group of business leaders and MPs met recently to formally launch the informal cross-party group.

Business South Group CEO, Leigh-Sara Timberlake, said: “We are really grateful to Caroline and her team for guiding us through the process to make the APPG a reality and delighted she has agreed to chair the group for us.

“We see this as a great means of being able to keep a dialogue going with the MPs from across our region so they can be made aware of the opportunities and challenges facing the Central South,” she said.

The idea for the APPG, came about following the visit by a delegation of business leaders drawn together by Business South, campaigning for a change in the way the Apprenticeship Levy is managed.

Dame Caroline suggested it might create a valued communication channel so MPs could be regularly informed by businesses from across the Central South.

“It was a pleasure to launch the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Central South in Parliament, and be elected Chair.

“This group will allow the region’s MPs to work effectively with local businesses to take best advantage of emerging opportunities and address challenges collectively, she said.

An APPG is run by and for members of the House of Commons and Lords. The membership of the Central South APPG includes:

Dame Caroline Dinenage, MP – chair

Alan Whitehead, Southampton Test MP

Flick Drummond, Meon Valley, MP

Paul Holmes, Eastleigh MP

Dame Maria Miller, Basingstoke MP

Steve Brine, Winchester MP

Welcoming the formation of the Central South APPG, Mark Perry, Chief Executive of housing association VIVID and chair of the Business South Housing Group, said: “This is an important step for the region and we look forward to having increased dialogue with MPs so that insights and challenges can be raised within government.

“At the launch, I was able to share the work the Business South Housing Group has been doing and our plans to create a Housing Manifesto for the region.

“Communication is key if we are to get our message across and the APPG will be a positive mechanism for us to use.”

If you need more information or clarification, please contact Kate Pearce on 07968 262805.

Business South is an independent representative of businesses in Central South England, supporting the prosperity of the region by bringing together business leaders, educators, public bodies and entrepreneurs to create a dominant and powerful force for growth and innovation.

Our vision is to grow and strengthen the economy of the Central South through:

  • Connecting business leaders
  •  Articulating the business voice
  • Lobbying and influencing for positive change
  • Promoting the region to attract more investment, development and talent
  • Supporting Start Ups and young business to survive and thrive
  • Developing sector specific Action Groups

Our aim is for the Central South region to be recognised nationally and internationally, as a preferred location of choice, able to attract and retain talent, and drive increased opportunities for investment and business.

We bring like-minded people together through our Champion programme. We have over 100 Champions and partners, employing 100,000 people between them and contributing an estimated £4 billion to the regional economy.