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Matt Moss, of SMART Modular Buildings, explains why he celebrates the things that connect Suffolk businesses





Why bother? Why bother with things that don’t directly concern your business? It’s a good question, especially for hard-pressed but growing smaller ventures like ours where everyone, all of the time is full-on.

Talk of CSR and ESG and other acronyms are all very well for the multinationals. But for the likes of Suffolk’s SMEs, even given our collective support for local charities and organisations, the question remains: what’s the point having in having a wider perspective?

But I do think it’s important to have a wider awareness of and connection to what else is going on beyond one’s own factory gates.

Matt Moss, of SMART Modular Buildings
Matt Moss, of SMART Modular Buildings

At SMART Modular Buildings we are reliant on – increasingly green – road transport. But I am also a passionate supporter of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s campaigns to secure significant improvements to the Ely and Haughley rail junctions. Why? Because such investments will boost our county’s competitiveness and will attract inward investment not only out of the Port of Felixstowe, but elsewhere in the county as well.

It is important that we continue to strengthen the connectivity of Suffolk, not least as we do have visitors to SMART that come on the train to Thurston that we then pick up to take to our showroom. Equally, although based near to Bury St Edmunds, I’m acutely aware of our connections to Ipswich. I believe that a successful county town benefits us over here in the west.

That’s why I want to see a long-term solution to the roads network around Ipswich such that it is able to better cope with Orwell Bridge and other A14 closures.

I’m proud of being from Suffolk and embarrassed by the TV images of gridlock that are in danger of defining us to the rest of the country.

Talking of Ipswich, I was so pleased that MY club has been promoted to the Premier League. My club? That’s right. A successful Ipswich Town boosts the sense of community, goodwill and unity across Suffolk. I should know. My first ever job was for Ipswich Town, ironically 22 years ago when they were last in the Premiership. I worked in the ITFC retail shop in Bury’s Abbeygate Street, sometimes in the Buttermarket and sometimes on Matchdays in the old shop in the Cobbold Stand which I think is now used for hospitality!

Personally, I have little time for the manufactured rivalry between the two places that some seem to propagate. We are all Suffolk and should celebrate our shared achievements.

Ipswich is still a great place and the recent buzz and excitement is fantastic for the town and the county and the economic benefit, estimated at between £500 million to £600 million is a welcome benefit for all! That’s why we should bother about issues beyond our daily focus!