Conference to shine a spotlight on Northern Powerhouse agenda

A top banker has urged Sheffield bosses to attend the Great Northern Conference.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 13:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 13:12 pm
Paul Wainwright, head of customer banking, Sheffield, at Yorkshire Bank on Fargate. Pic Steve Ellis

Paul Wainwright, head of customer banking, Sheffield, at Yorkshire Bank, said: “Yorkshire Bank is proud to support The Great Northern Conference, an important event that will shine a spotlight on the Northern Powerhouse agenda. It would be great to have a strong presence from the Sheffield business community.”

The all-day event is on Tuesday, February 26, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Two manufacturing heavyweights with links to South Yorkshire will be among the speakers: Prof Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of Sheffield University, and Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK.

The conference the event has attracted a Who’s Who’ of leading figures from politics, business and academia who will discuss areas such as skills, education, innovation and connectivity.

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The all-day event will be chaired by one of the architects of the Northern Powerhouse, former Chancellor, the Rt Hon. George Osborne. Other speakers include Manchester mayor Andy Burnham,Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, and Transport for the North Chief Executive Barry White.

The conference is particularly timely: recent data revealed that despite a determined drive to narrow the North-South economic divide, productivity in areas such as Leeds, York, Humber and Greater Manchester continues to drift behind the national average.

Meanwhile, debate continues over the idea of a devolved North of England government department with its own secretary of state’ and tax-raising status.

Launching the conference, Mr Berry said the event would examine the "big question of how to drive Northern productivity".

He added: "Many areas have been increasing productivity, but as we improve transport connectivity across the Pennines and invest through the Industrial Strategy, this progress must be accelerated.

"This is not just about a greater and ambitious North, but building a greater country."

The Great Northern Conference 2019 is sponsored by CYBG, LNER, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and The Star’s parent company JPIMedia.

For full details of speakers, agenda and tickets visit