Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 celebrated 30 years in business with over 70 members and guests at this month’s breakfast meeting.

Stewart Rickersey took to the stage with a history of 2020 and how the organisation began. Following a meeting with Mansfield District Council in early 1990, a few prominent businesspeople in the area got together to help form a public/private partnership to access government funding that would help to stimulate the economy and create new jobs for the area.

Over the years, Mansfield 2010 (as it was known until 2005) spent a lot of time building relationships with local businesses, authorities, and education providers to create partnership working that benefits both business and the wider community.

The most notable achievements saw the installation of the Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route which had spent a long time in discussion at various levels of local authority before a very lively discussion led to a commitment to completion.

In later years Mansfield was able to boast the best broadband network in the UK following relentless lobbying by one of our board members.

We have worked hard to see the re-opening of the Robin Hood Line in Mansfield and the upgrade to the Midland Main Line.

As a community, our board members worked together to ensure that Mansfield continued to see Christmas lights in the town centre, with many of our member businesses contributing to our annual Christmas Lights fund.

In 2015, Mansfield joined with Ashfield to reflect the local authorities partnership working and became Mansfield and Ashfield 2020. Members worked with Vision West Notts College to identify the key skills young people needed to help them succeed in the workplace. This information was key to the framework that the college uses to determine when a young person has the skills needed to enter the workplace for the first time.

Not only this, but member businesses also volunteered their time to take part in the award-winning Career Champions initiative to inspire and mentor schoolchildren for their future.

30 years is a long time and we have seen a lot of changes in the business landscape, both locally and worldwide. In late 2019 the Mansfield and Ashfield board of directors felt that it was time to revisit the organisations strategy and determine how we could continue to deliver meaningful benefits for our members.

Director of Operations, Ella McManus delivered a brief presentation on the future of 2020 and what this would mean for members.

This included the introduction of two new additional networking events:

  • Relaxed Socials – monthly relaxed evening get together at various venues across the Ashfield and Mansfield area
  • Women in Business – once a month at Vision West Notts College 1.00pm – 3.00pm Refined Restaurant

Digital transformation and the adoption of new technology within business has been emphasised with the recent pandemic. The need to connect and communicate remotely was highlighted and with the increase of agile working, finding ways to keep businesses building relationships locally has become very important to the team here at 2020.

To keep up with the changing landscape, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 will be launching a new website with its very own community platform that will allow members to keep in touch 24/7. The members area will run on a desktop but will also come as a mobile application so that you will have local networking and business information at your fingertips.

Look out for email invitations in the coming weeks.

The purpose of 2020 is to build a community of local businesses and stakeholders that work together to create a brighter future for all. We are looking forward to working with everyone to see this come to fruition.

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