7 developments that could affect South West businesses in the next year

PR VoiceAnd how publicity can help you navigate the shrapnel

Hinkley goes nuclear
The glacial speed at which decisions have been made regarding the construction of Hinkley Point are unsurprising, given the number of bureaucrats from Brussels to Bridgwater that are involved in navigating its go-ahead.

Those in the know have lauded the £16bn project as ‘the next generation of nuclear power in Britain’ and a project that could create up to £25,000 jobs.

So when it finally kicks off the tremors will be felt across the region, affecting businesses, homeowners and town planners all in equal measure.

You have to pay to park
Bristol’s red trousered Mayor George Ferguson is keen on green. Critics say he is anti-car. Followers say he is visionary and preparing us for a brave new world.

Whatever your viewpoint the introduction of Residents Parking Zones – having to pay to park – in Bristol is happening and will affect businesses. The agreed operating conditions for the two latest schemes, and the programme details for all of them can be viewed on the council’s website at

Be prepared for lots of angry shopkeepers.

Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister
Next May will see a General Election. The re-election of David Cameron will represent the status quo regarding economic policy. But the election of Ed Miliband could frighten the markets and impact on confidence, as government changes tend to do, despite his recent claim that he is committed to reducing the deficit and not increasing public spending.

Whether a political animal or not, May 2015 will be a pivotal time for businesses.

They build a train track from Portishead to Bristol
In the Victorian times they used to just build infrastructure. Fast forward to the present day in Portishead and things are a little more complicated. Residents and businesses desperately want it; property developers desperately want it; and those in charge desperately want it.

And they all might finally have it. Following a recent breakfast meeting a senior figure involved in plans to open the rail link between Portishead to Bristol said: “We need to demonstrate to the planning inspectorate that we’ve engaged with the community and that we have its support.

“It is more likely now than ever that this will go ahead and if we get a fair wind behind the scheme it is looking good. We have the majority of the funding in place.”

Bristol goes green
Next year Bristol will be celebrating the honour of being European Green Capital 2015. Expect an events calendar based around sustainable ideas and an increase in footfall from low carbon enthusiasts. It’s a huge coup for the city and will have an impact thinking and businesses strategy for many.

Consumers stop spending
Imagine if we find out that the positive news about the economy being back to pre-recession growth levels has all this time disguised another consumer debt crisis; and the economy falls back into slump mode. With confidence returning, employment down and innovation everywhere this is unlikely, but there is still caution amongst business leaders about the state of the economy.

Lord Coe gets arrested
Well not necessarily him, but imagine a figurehead or icon in your sector gets arrested for wrongdoing, or a piece of legislation or action negatively affects your industry or company and it is suddenly in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Why PR matters?

All of these things could happen, will happen or are happening. Does it matter to your business? Do you need to respond? Maybe not. But if you do, Public Relations (PR) is the most effective way of shaping opinion, responding to a crisis, having a view on any of the above, influencing the powers that be and creating a positive feeling about your business.

Want to know more about how Purplex can help with campaign, crisis, thought leadership and shareholder PR? Call 01934 808 132

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