Deborah was born in Taunton
Somerset perfect for business according to Dragon
Dragons' Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden knows a thing or two about business. And one thing she is clear on is that Somerset is the perfect place to be.
Somerset born and bred, Dragons' Den panellist Deborah Meaden has never strayed too far from her home.
"I feel very lucky to live and work in Somerset. It is a lovely county. Somerset has just about everything," she said.
"I could choose to live and work anywhere, but I have chosen Somerset because it gives me the kind of rural life that I want, but with direct and easy access to London and overseas.
"Somerset is wonderfully located. It has the benefit of being a great place to work and a great place to live. Businesses need good people and Somerset is attracting a lot of very good people who want to enjoy its quality of life."
Transport is a key factor for Deborah, who says Somerset has a great travel network.
"I can get on the train in Taunton and I am in Paddington in under an hour and 40 minutes. If I lived on the outskirts of London, I would not be able to get in that quickly.
"Within 10 minutes I am on the A303. In 20 minutes I am on the M4. I am 45 minutes from Bristol Airport and 30 minutes from Exeter Airport. Think about that. This is not a rural, sleepy county."
Deborah was speaking during a webcast for an inward investment organisation, Into Somerset, which aims to promote the county as the perfect place to do business.
It is targeting businesses in five key sectors which are already strong in the county – advanced engineering and aerospace; business services; creative; food and drink; plus energy and environmental technologies.
A spokesperson for the company said the county has an "excellent communications network, with some of the best broadband connectivity rates in the UK".
"Its entrepreneurial spirit is demonstrated by the fact that Somerset has the highest business start-up rates outside of London," she said.
last updated: 13/02/2009 at 13:53