Skip to main content
Harper Adams University logo

    Digital entrepreneur Baroness Martha Lane-Fox welcomed to University

    Posted 14 March

    Shropshire Chamber chief executive Ruth Ross, Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, and Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan

    The president of the British Chambers of Commerce met a group of Shropshire Chamber patrons at Harper Adams University during a fact-finding visit to the county.

    Digital entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox, co-founder of Europe’s largest travel and leisure website, was guest of honour at the event, held at the University.

    She joined Shropshire Chamber patrons on a tour of the award-winning site near Newport including the veterinary school, engineering centre and working farm, before a networking lunch.

    Baroness Lane-Fox, who has a seat in the House of Lords and was elected president of the BCC in October 2022, said: “Shropshire is such an interesting and varied county.

    “I’m fortunate in my role to get a real sense of how businesses are performing, the concerns they have, and also what the next 10 years in this country is going to look like.

    “I’m a curious person and I love learning about what’s going on. But more importantly, I’m a fully vested member of the UK who has started businesses here and had every benefit, and the most amazing career in this country.

    “I care deeply about helping in my own small way to make it the best it can be by 2030. Building a great narrative about British business is a big part of that.”

    She added: “Places and their particular challenges are different, but there are also some fundamental building blocks that are the same.

    “I’m constantly hearing things as I travel around the country about infrastructure, skills, the pace of digitisation, transition to net zero, imports, exports and investments.

    “There are very big similarities across businesses right now. For an incoming Government of any shade, they should listen to our 100,000 members, because we know what we are talking about.

    “Business is front and centre of politicians’ minds at the moment. There doesn’t seem to be any debate about the fact that, without thriving businesses, we will not have the economy we want, or be able to deliver public services.”

    “It’s fundamental economics – but it hasn’t always been as front and centre in an election. I think it will be this time.”

    Shropshire Chamber chief executive Ruth Ross said: “It was fantastic to be able to welcome Martha. We’re grateful to her for sparing the time to speak with our patrons to hear first-hand about the issues that matter to them.

    “She has the ear of many key decision-makers, so this is another example of how we are helping to make sure the voice of Shropshire business is heard in the corridors of power at Westminster.

    “We must also say a big thank you to Professor Ken Sloan and his team at Harper Adams University for hosting us, and conducting such a fascinating tour of their world-class facilities.”

    Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan added: “We were delighted to welcome Baroness Lane-Fox to the campus and we are very grateful to the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce for bringing their event to Harper Adams.

    “We are a University at the heart of Shropshire, closely linked to the county’s business already – and we’re strengthening those connections with new developments in both Telford and Newport, as we outlined at both a business breakfast this week and during the Baroness’ visit.

    “As the Baroness heard during her tour of our facilities, one of the key ways in which we make the difference is by allying our academic expertise with businesses of all kinds – through our student placements, our research and development work, our consultancy and more. It’s through forging connections like that that we all make the difference for our county.”

    Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.