BOSSES at companies of all sizes across Basingstoke and Deane are being invited to highlight what needs to be done to keep the local economy thriving at the A Question of Business event.

The free Question Time-style event is being organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in partnership with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

It will give those attending the chance to question a panel involved in supporting the local economy and influencing its future.

Fielding questions on the A Question of Business panel, chaired by borough council chief executive Tony Curtis, will be Enterprise M3 LEP chairman Geoff French, of URS, Councillor Andrew Finney, borough council Cabinet member for economic strategy and development, Basingstoke College of Technology principal Anthony Bravo, Maureen Frost, of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Steven Connolly, centre director of Festival Place, and Tim Colman, chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Federation of Small Businesses.

The event builds on the success of the first Basingstoke ‘A Question of Business’ held in 2008, which attracted 200 business representatives, covering everything from multi-nationals to sole traders.

Cllr Finney said: “Five years ago, we asked businesses about the barriers to their success and growth.

“The key things that they said needed improvement or development were commercial areas and business parks, including Basing View, transport, skills, housing, and leisure and broadband.

“There have been huge changes in the economy and very difficult times for businesses. But we have still been able to take action on the points raised.

“Now we need the help of companies of all sizes to ensure we are focusing on what will make the most difference to the local economy.

“I look forward to a lively and interesting debate that will help us to gain a better understanding of the help and support businesses across the borough need to enable them to grow and prosper in the future.”

The event is on Tuesday, March 19 at Basingstoke Country Hotel, in Nately Scures, between 5pm and 7pm and is followed by a buffet. To register, visit or call 01256 845692.