Press release

UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 celebrates boost to UK economy as it welcomes one millionth visitor

More than 1 million visitors have been to the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 since it opened in May 2015.

The accompanying Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland Global Business Programme has facilitated £183 million in business wins for UK companies to date.

The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 has welcomed more than 1 million visitors since it opened its doors to the public at the beginning of May 2015. The Grown in Britain Global Business Programme has also helped generate more than £180 million for the UK economy to date, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) announced today (16 August 2015).

The World Expo in Milan provides a global stage to promote the UK’s innovation, expertise and leadership in areas such as food and drink, agriculture and the creative industries. A series of GREAT Weeks have been organised to take place in Milan to enable UK companies to meet and network with international buyers and experts, and expand in to new markets.

Companies from across the UK have benefitted from business contacts and deals facilitated in Milan through the business programme, which was designed to help UK companies use Milan Expo to access international markets for their business.

One such company is healthy juice producer Appy Food and Drinks, which attended the GREAT Food & Drink Week in May to promote its range of natural juices that are low in calories and sugar. A networking event, coupled with a Tutto Food innovation award, introduced the company to an Italian distributor who has made a forecasted order of €250,000 worth of goods with a 10% down payment to start business in this month – a deal that represents a 15% increase in the company’s annual turnover.

Bobby Patel, founder of Appy Food and Drinks said:

Our juice drinks are becoming more popular abroad due to the lack of access to healthier lines aimed at children. Due to the help from UKTI we have swung our sales from UK-based to a 70% export based business which we see as a safer option for the growth of our brand.

The GREAT Week enabled us to break into the Italian market for the first time and will see our products sold across Italy in stores such as Esselunga and Coop. We are working closely with UKTI to attend more international food fairs and hopefully break into more markets.

Held every 5 years, the World Expo aims to stimulate conversation around a particular theme. Milan Expo’s theme – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life – highlights the need for countries to work together to find solutions to feed the world’s growing population.

Each participating country and organisation designs a pavilion that answers the Expo’s theme. Milan Expo 2015 provides the UK with an opportunity to showcase Britain as a great place to visit, study and to do business. The UK Pavilion has received acclaim from visitors and commentators. Designed by Nottingham-based artist, Wolfgang Buttress, its design focusses on the vital role of pollination in the global food chain.   Lord Francis Maude, Minister for Trade and Investment said:

The government aims to have 100,000 more businesses exporting in 2020 than in 2010, and to reach the target of £1 trillion in exports. Milan Expo gives the UK an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our wide-ranging strengths and build closer business links with global partners that will have long-term benefits for the UK economy. As a result of the programme, we aim to deliver £1 billion of value to the UK economy.

Notes to editors

1.Images from the UK Pavilion and Appy Food and Drinks’ products can be downloaded from the UK Pavilion press pack on Dropbox.

2.UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed globally and assists overseas companies to bring investment to the UK. We lead the whole of government effort to help UK firms win business overseas and rebalance the economy towards export-led sustainable economic growth.

3.The UK is participating at the World Expo 2015 in Milan from 1 May to 31 October 2015. The World Expos take place every 5 years and the core theme for Milan Expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. 145 nations are participating, including the UK’s major political and trading partners, in addition to the United Nations, the European Union, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and a host of NGOs. Milan Expo 2015 offers a global platform to promote UK international agendas and showcase how British innovation, creativity and global leadership are helping to feed the planet.

The UK’s participation theme for Milan Expo 2015 is ‘Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland’, led by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) with support from 7 HM Government departments. The UK Pavilion is inspired by the crucial role played by pollination in providing the food that we eat. It offers visitors a unique experiential journey taken from the perspective of the honey bee and forms the platform for a programme of UK business, science and cultural events, linked to the leading role the UK plays in overcoming global challenges.

The UK’s main messages at Milan Expo 2015 are:

  • the UK is a hive of innovation and creativity helping to feed the planet
  • the UK is welcoming, diverse and open for business
  • the UK takes the lead in overcoming global challenges

4.The UK Pavilion is designed, created, manufactured and built by the best of British talent (Wolfgang Buttress / Tristan Simmonds / Stage One / BDP).

5.The UK Pavilion is inspired by scientific research and ground-breaking UK technology developed at Nottingham Trent University with the Bee Farmers Association of the United Kingdom to monitor the health of beehives.

6.World-renowned caterer and Royal Warrant holder, Mosimann’s, is the official caterer for the UK Pavilion.

7.Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland Global Business Programme: The Global Business Programme helps UK firms win business globally and promotes the UK as a destination for foreign direct investment.

For the duration of Milan Expo 2015, UKTI has curated a global programme of private and public events to be held at the UK Pavilion & central Milan. Additionally, a global programme of more than 200 events will host opinion formers and networks to showcase the UK’s leadership position surrounding the following themes – science policy and research; culture and creativity; international development and business.

The 6 GREAT Weeks focus on the following themes:

  • May: Food and Drink
  • June: Urban and Rural Development (Sustainability)
  • July: Agri-Tech
  • September: Creative and Cultural Projects
  • October: Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • October: Feeding the Planet

8.For more information please visit: