Bacta’s charm offensive at the Labour Party Conference concluded with a Fish & Chips reception held at Brighton Palace Pier, the home of hospitality on the south coast.
Hosted by bacta national president Gabi Stergides, vice president James Miller and chief executive John White, the event attracted a wide range of politicians, advisers, local councillors and Labour Party activists, including Gordon Marsden MP, Bill Esterson MP and John Grogan MP.
Gabi Stergides used his welcome to explain the work undertaken by the association and its support for the Rays of Sunshine charity, which bacta has partnered since 2011 raising over £350,000 to help fulfill wishes for children and young people with a serious or life-limiting illness.
The sum takes the total raised by the bacta Charitable Trust for good causes including the Prince’s Youth Business Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, British Institute for Brain Injured Children and Fairbridge, which helps mentor disengaged young people, to a magnificent £3.25m.
John White took the opportunity to launch bacta’s “The serious business of fun!” a new 52-page publication which has been produced by the association in order to introduce and explain the industry to politicians and opinion formers.
Addressing the audience White said that the UK amusements and low stake gaming sector, as represented by the Brighton Palace Pier, was summed up by the three letter word FUN!
Referencing the attitudinal research undertaken by PwC he explained: “Our industry is about delivering value for money entertainment within a socially responsible framework.
“In the independent PwC research the most frequently quoted word used by respondents to describe their connection with the industry was fun.
“Indeed the professional market researchers engaged in the survey had never come across such a pronounced weighting which was reflected in the word cloud they produced.”
Before handing over to Deirdre Wells OBE, chief executive of Ukinbound and chair of the tourism alliance, White, together with Gabi Stergides, took the opportunity to present Anne Martin, Brighton Palace Pier CEO, with the bacta Community Award in recognition of her work in establishing the Pier as one of the country’s most thriving and successful free admission visitor attractions.