Following its recent meeting with special advisors to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at No 10 Downing Street, the Government has delivered on a key strategic support request from industry association IPIA.

IPIA chair Charles Rogers was invited to attend an event hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister, MP Oliver Dowden, to represent the UK print industry at a special Business Leaders Reception at No 10. The invitation forms part of a proactive response from the Government to the IPIA’s formal request for the ‘identification of UK print and paper as ‘industries of strategic value’ to our economy’.

Mr Rogers commented, ‘It’s hugely encouraging for our industry that I was invited to attend an event designed to foster collaboration between different sectors of the economy – demonstrating that print and paper is now firmly on the Governments radar. The call for proactive engagement from Government with the sector at our previous meeting has been heeded. I am optimistic for the future as we continue to advocate for targeted support for our industry.’

Mr Rogers continued, ‘I was introduced to the Deputy Prime Minister, MP Oliver Dowden, who is now fully aware of the UK’s place as a global leader when it comes to innovation in printing processes and the production of print. He is also aware of its strategic importance to the multinational technology developers and media suppliers at the core of its supply chain.’

The event was well attended by established business leaders and entrepreneurs from banking, healthcare, IT, construction, hospitality and many other key industries.

Mr Rogers remarked, ‘Our goal at the event was to impress on other guests the importance of print and paper to the UK economy and the health of its society, which was well received. One attendee told me they regularly bought print products online, and following our conversation, would be expanding his interests in this area. He also encouraged other attendees in our group to look to print as a valuable route to market.’

He concluded, ‘The environment at No 10 does seem to focus minds on the importance of cross-sector collaboration, while encouraging discussion on how we can work together to collectively grow the UK economy. The networking opportunities are also very apparent. A range of Special Advisors to Ministers attend – who proactively seek to engage attendees in conversation – so they can highlight information and trends that can be brought to the attention of senior policy makers.’

Since its formal meeting with special advisors to the Prime Minister, the IPIA has engaged closely with cross-sector body the Graphics and Print Media Alliance (GPMA). It is now in the process of canvassing its members for feedback that will shape the IPIA’s ongoing engagement with Government.