INDUSTRY leaders will join forces to thrash out how the south can become an even better place to do business this month.

The Southern Daily Echo-backed South Coast Business Works takes place at St Mary's Stadium on February 21 and is sponsored by leading regional law firm Trethowans.

The event will see exhibitors come together from a variety of industries to share their knowledge and inspire others whilst forging new business relationships.

This year’s event will focus on the effect Brexit will have on our region and what this means for local businesses in the South.

The keynote speaker will Mike Spicer, director of research and economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The other two guest speakers for the event are Paul Sandcraft , regional director of Aerospace, TW Metals and Geraint Davies, partner at, Ernst & Young LLP, Chairman of the IOD in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and chairman of the governors of Southampton City College

One of the most popular features is the Question Time style panel, fronted by some of the most influential business leaders in the south.

The panel, made up of experts from a range of industries, will discuss how the public and private sectors can boost business on the ‘Platinum Coast’, a new name for the South Coast being touted affectionately in the business community.

For the fifth year running, the panel will be hosted by Lee Peck, chairman of PR agency Lee Peck Media, and see speakers give their take on the hot topics of the day before fielding questions from the audience.

Among those already confirmed for the panel are Mike Spicer and Geraint Davies who will be joined by Simon Rhodes, senior partner of sponsor Trethowans, Annaliese Hughes, director of Delicious Dining and board member of Go!Southampton, and Mark Busby, the commercial director of automotive business Hendy Group..

Lee Peck said: “We’re proud to have such strong connections across the region, which has helped to put this exciting panel together. It’s one of my favourite engagements of the year as we get to discover first-hand what makes the region tick commercially. With a diverse range of speakers and a couple more to come, it’s set to be a wide-ranging and lively debate.”

To register to attend the event, which runs from 1pm to 5.30pm, visit Stands are also still available for the event – contact the Echo business team on 023 8042 4977 for more details.