Mayflower business event explores transatlantic opportunities

The inaugural Mayflower 400 Business Networking Event will see industry leaders discuss how to make the most of the estimated £440 million impact of the Mayflower anniversary in 2020.

Key business leaders will join diplomats and MPs at London’s Guildhall on Thursday (October 18) to explore commercial opportunities for the City of London and beyond.

The Mayflower 400 programme in 2020 will feature more than 400 events on either side of the Atlantic, commemorating the historic voyage of the Mayflower Pilgrims from Plymouth in England to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Mayflower Compact partnership includes 11 core UK member destinations across England, alongside the US, the Native American community and the Netherlands.

Charles Hackett, Mayflower 400 chief executive, said: “2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, one of the most influential journeys in global history and a defining moment in the shared history of Britain, the US and the Netherlands.

“The city of London and business is central to this history, so we are encouraging businesses to consider how they can work with the anniversary, the international connections that it highlights, and the programme of heritage and culture that is being created.”

The event will welcome representatives from the US and Dutch embassies to the UK, business leaders from major transatlantic corporations, Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords, to deepen the engagement with the City of London’s leaders and other key city organisations.

The event is supported by transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson and The City of London.

Mark Wheatley, Common Councilman in the City of London Corporation, said: “We must honour the great achievement of the Mayflower voyagers and shared heritage their enterprise gives us with the Netherlands and US. The tourism and entertainment plans for 2020 are inspiring. The legacy projects planned for education and the environment are vital. This is good for our great City and the rest of the UK.”

Jonathan Blair, UK managing partner of Womble Bond Dickinson, added: “We’re delighted to be part of the Mayflower 400 initiative and to be involved in the highly anticipated event.

“400 years ago, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth where we have one of our eight UK offices and landed in Boston where we opened in the US last year following our combination to create transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson. It couldn’t be more appropriate for us to be supporting this excellent initiative celebrating the ties between the US and the UK.”

Historian Graham Taylor, whose book The Mayflower in London will be published in 2019, commented: “London, and the City of London, is central to the Mayflower story. The City’s merchant adventurers organised and backed the expedition, with members of livery companies among the shareholders, and it was in London that the majority of passengers embarked.

“The ship and the crew came from Rotherhithe, the Pilgrim Church was based in Southwark, and London is where the Mayflower first set off from, taking the pioneers and pilgrims to North America.”