A Chamber delegation has recently returned from a 4 day visit to Plymouth Massachusetts, focussed on strengthening links between the two cities in the lead up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations.
During the visit from 21 – 25 May, jointly arranged by the two Plymouth Chambers of Commerce, the group of 12 delegates, representing many aspects of Plymouth UK’s core functions including the private and public sector, feel positive that more opportunities have been identified for working with Plymouth MA colleagues on Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020. The delegation also received confirmation of support for Plymouth’s City of Culture Bid from the Plymouth Board of Selectmen and Senate President Murray. A Twinning agreement was also signed between the two Plymouths confirming that Plymouth Massachusetts definitely view Plymouth UK as the start of the Mayflower journey.
Focussed on strengthening educational links and commercial activities between the two Plymouths the delegation had a packed programme of activity organised in partnership between the two Chambers. Activities and visits included visits to tourist attractions focussed on the Mayflower connection and history of Plymouth Massachusetts alongside meetings to discuss the educational and economic development activity in the two cities.
Adrian Vinken, Chair of Plymouth Culture Board and one of the Chamber delegation said:
“What was most important about the visit, apart from the obvious emerging educational and business to business partnerships, was the shared appreciation of our Massachusetts colleagues and ourselves that 2020 will be an event of truly international significance. It was good to learn that Senator Murray also sees that 2020 will not be just a Plymouth UK to Plymouth USA event but a major nation to nation celebration of what the Mayflower voyage led to, of 400 years of shared cultural heritage and a century of steadfast military partnership in defence of freedom through two World Wars and the current War on Terror. We were delighted that the Senator undertook to progress the matter with John Kerry, the American Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.”
Phil Davies, Principal, City College of Plymouth and one of the Chamber delegation said:
“The group was very impressed with the reception we received from the educational providers in and around Plymouth and their obvious appetite for building meaningful links with schools and colleges in our City. The opportunities for student and staff mobility, joint projects and curriculum development are considerable and we have now built a strong platform for realising some of these exciting initiatives over the next few years.”
Denis Hanks, CEO, Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce said:
“Since our first meeting back in 2011, our two Chamber of Commerce have continued to build not only Chamber partnerships but also stronger links between our two governments, cultural institutions and educational facilities. Hardly a month goes by without our two organizations communicating on a host of issues from transportation connections to international commerce. One such example is our recent joint attendance at the Boston Cruise Ship Symposium where Denis Hanks, David Parlby and Amanda Lumley spoke with cruise ship decision makers about possible transatlantic connections.
This type of collaboration is the foundation for a long and prosperous relationship between the two Chambers and our communities.”
Cllr Peter Smith, Deputy Leader, Plymouth City Council said:
“Our visit to Plymouth has been hugely successful in terms of developing relationships with the businesses and community as well as sharing ideas for the Mayflower celebrations in 2020. By re-signing the city twinning agreement we have re-affirmed our strong connections and Plymouth City Council and all the partners on the delegation are looking forward to working together closely towards Mayflower 400.”
The relationship with Plymouth MA began in 2011, when David Parlby, Chief Exec of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce visited Plymouth MA on holiday and met Denis Hanks, his counterpart. A delegation from Plymouth MA was then organised for October 2012, with a group of 22 visiting the UK, experiencing a variety of Plymouth’s tourist, educational and business attractions, developing a strong relationship ahead of this year’s visit to Massachusetts. A return visit is planned in September, when State President Murray will be awarded an honorary degree from Plymouth University.
The Plymouth MA delegation from Plymouth Chamber of Commerce included:
Phil Davies. Principal, City College Plymouth.
Amanda Lumley. CEO, Destination Plymouth.
Adrian Vinken. Chair, Plymouth Culture Board & CEO Theatre Royal.
Cllr Peter Smith. Deputy Leader, Plymouth City Council.
Paul Woods. Chair, Plymouth Chamber & Plymouth Growth Board.
David Parlby. CEO, Plymouth Chamber.
Lesley Allinson. Operations Manager, Plymouth Chamber.
Christopher Grace. Head of Economy, Enterprise & Employment, Plymouth City Council.
Dave Young . MD, The Una Group & Vice Chair Plymouth Chamber.
Charles Evans. Partner Francis Clark & Director Plymouth Chamber.
Jane Chafer . Director of External Relations, Plymouth University
Maureen Powers. Dean of Students, Plymouth University.