Roundtable meeting between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and members of Accredited Chambers of Com

Article Date: 28 July 2014

On 2nd July 2014, the Chancellor of the Exchequer met with twelve existing and potential export champions to discuss how HM Government could best support their growth ambitions, together with British Chambers of Commerce President Nora Senior and Director General John Longworth. Convened at the request of the British Chambers of Commerce, so that the Chancellor could get a flavour of the practical issues facing UK exporters, the roundtable featured innovative companies from across England, Scotland and Wales. Each company prepared a specific and practical “ask” to the Chancellor.

These are summarised in the note below. Action on these practical issues would help to support export growth among Chamber of Commerce members – the “backbone” of Britain’s export base – as well as the wider business community. We hope their ideas summarised here can be considered either for swift action in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, or a part of a programme for government for 2015-2020.


Practical Asks To Support Growth And Exports

Lee Clarke, MD, Clarke & Clarke, member of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Clarke & Clarke design and distribute quality furnishing fabrics & wallpapers to retailers and interior designers around the world, and employ 50 staff. The company was founded by Lee and his wife in 1999 and began exporting in 2006. Clarke-Clarke now exports to 75 countries, predominantly focusing on Europe, USA, Middle East & Far East. Exporting now accounts for 45% of the firm’s total sales and is growing rapidly. We rely heavily on exhibiting at overseas fairs, both to increase business with existing customers and more importantly to meet new customers from all around the globe. We are constantly coming up against the same old barriers, where lots of our competitors are being helped financially by their respective governments in terms of funding for travel and exhibitions. We get very little help in this respect, which is putting us in a disadvantaged position from the word go. I would like to be able to exhibit at more overseas fairs and am convinced that doing this would increase our export sales considerably, but cannot justify the huge up front investment and therefore need our government’s help. Would the Chancellor examine the case to further increase direct support for foreign travel and overseas trade exhibitions through UKTI?



For further information about this high profile deslination please contact Abigail Peake on 01254 356473 or

Return to News Index

Next Event

There are currently no events scheduled

Call us now on: +44 (0)1254 356400 for more information