Today Nottingham has taken over Parliament to raise the city’s profile at Westminster and let the Government know about the great things underway in one of the country’s top cities.
Medal-winning Paralympians, leading business figures, MPs and diplomats, along with Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham, joined forces on Tuesday 25 October for Nottingham in Parliament Day – a festival of research, debate and showcases led by The University of Nottingham.
It is the first time a city has staged an event of this sort in the Houses of Parliament – and Nottingham has a great claim to take over parliament. The foundations of our democracy can be found at Nottingham Castle and Nottinghamshire is the only place outside London where parliament has been held in the past.
There have been high profile debates between key business leaders and politicians. This has provided the opportunity for discussion about Nottingham’s important role as part of the Midlands Engine, the city’s transport excellence, its growing reputation for life sciences and creative industries and its pioneering move to set up the country’s first council-owned energy company.
Highlights of Nottingham in Parliament Day included academics from The University of Nottingham pitched against members of the House of Commons in an episode of University Challenge, members of the GB archery team giving Robin Hood target practice, and Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff conducting live chemistry experiments with Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.
City Council Leader Councillor Jon Collins said: “Nottingham in Parliament Day was a chance to get across the huge strengths of our city and some of the things people may not realise we excel at. Some things are taken for granted locally like our world-class universities and their links with emerging industries, our exceptional transport network and the fact we’ve set up the UK’s first council-run energy company – but it’s important that decision-makers in London are made of aware of this.
“When it comes to decisions like funding for the Midlands Engine or HS2, we want Nottingham to be as clearly defined in people’s minds as places like Birmingham or Manchester.”
The University of Nottingham Vice Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “As a city, we sometimes compare ourselves with London and Manchester and think that we’re something small but we’re actually the ninth biggest city in the fifth biggest economy in the world.
“We have huge strengths in those areas that play to the Government’s agenda of great technologies. Yet we don’t have a loud enough voice in Westminster. Nottingham in Parliament Day can only be the beginning of a campaign to get the city’s significant strengths and substantial potential better understood.”
For more information visit the Nottingham in Parliament Day website at http://www.nottinghaminparliamentday.uk/npd/index.aspx