Comprising 300 individual senior leaders of the Key Sectors in the City Region


1. The Plymouth Area Business Council (PABC) was originally formed as the Plymouth Economic Development Group (PEDG) in February 1999 and now consists of over 250 senior individual key sector leaders. In Plymouth the partnership ‘sectors’ comprise the Voluntary and Community Sector (now known as “The Third Sector”) Central Government and agencies and ‘The private sector’ which also includes ‘the business community’, but is actually rather wider than that.

2. The progressive development of a partnership culture in our City and in the Economic sub-region has required a steadily increasing input from the private sector, and those who we work with. The PABC thus considers all major economic issues and may, as appropriate, express a private or public view, aiming always for that to be a consensus sector one. Senior PCC officers and the Members of the PCC cabinet and shadow cabinet are standing invitees to its meetings as 'honorary members'. A short history of the PABC can be found in the about us section of this web site.

3. Clearly the achievement of an auditable representation of overall private sector views in the Plymouth travel to work area is a standing challenge, but it is firmly considered that the business community’s views (which are expressed from the Chamber) are strengthened by a full and inclusive representation of individual senior key sector leaders’ voices appropriately co-ordinated and covering the whole private sector.

4. In its 17th year after establishment as the Plymouth Economic Development Group (PEDG)  the PABC is now called the Plymouth Area Business Council which accurately reflects its make up and purpose. Whilst initially it had around 40 members, there are now well over 250, invariably with about 20 on the waiting list, with membership being “by invitation” only to those who are able to make a contribution to our City Region in their capacity as ‘senior leaders’.


5. The PABC usually meets four times per year in the Council Chamber (as joint guests of PCC and an annual private sector host (sponsor) at 1145 (Buffet Lunch Commences) for 1230 (Meeting starts) until 1400 (Meeting concludes promptly) unless a meeting is to be hosted in the boardroom of a group member (and a number of members have asked to do this from time to time). The Theatre Royal, The Science Park, The University, City College and the Naval Base have all hosted past meetings and continue to offer us their facilities on a standing basis - should we need them. A fifth meeting is held ‘in reserve’ and can be held at short notice to respond to any specific issue.

6. A working buffet lunch (with wine) is provided at all meetings and usually about 85 members are present for debate, discussion and briefing under the Chatham House rule, including the leaders and shadow leaders of the local authority. For every meeting members are asked to ‘check in’ with Gill our administrator by email to for catering planning purposes at the latest by Noon the Friday before the Wednesday meeting (or earlier if they are able!)

7. The PABC hosts two (50% subsidised and sponsored) formal (London livery company style) dinners each year in May and November, the latter for the City’s Parliamentarians and other VIP guests. These are held in the spiritual home of the PABC which is the Royal Marines Commando Forces Officers Mess at Stonehouse. Other self funding and co-hosted or sponsored lunches dinners are held during the year for our City’s VIP visitors and for the membership as appropriate.