Great Northern Conference to fire up the Powerhouse
Business and civic leaders in the North will unite for a summitÂ on how to boost the economy of the Northern Powerhouse and create opportunities for its 15m-strong population.Â
TheÂ GreatÂ NorthernÂ Conference 2019Â will be held on February 26 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds to unite theÂ NorthernÂ Powerhouse by bringing together all parts of the region to speak with one voice.Â
The event will hear from former Chancellor George Osborne and leading economist Lord O'Neill, who together came up with theÂ NorthernÂ Powerhouse five years ago and in government worked with civic leaders and business to narrow the North-South divide.
They are expected to be joined by Cabinet Ministers andÂ northernÂ elected mayors as well as senior business figures including theÂ CYBGÂ banking group's chief executive officer, David Duffy, and Siemens UK's chief executive officer,Â ProfessorÂ JuergenÂ Maier.Â
University leaders, including Professor Dame NancyÂ Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, are also expected to attend the event, which is being organised by The Yorkshire Post and sponsored by some of the North's leading businesses includingÂ CYBG.
Critical to boosting economic growth is transport, and a decision on theÂ NorthernÂ Powerhouse Rail scheme is due in the spring. If successful, it would create an east-west connection that would create huge opportunities across the North.Â
NorthernÂ Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: 'Colleagues from the Government and I will be speaking at theÂ GreatÂ NorthernConference and helping lead debate to ensure we are answering the big question of how to driveÂ NorthernÂ productivity.
'As the most recent figures show, many areas have been increasing productivity, but as we improve transport connectivity acrossÂ PenninesÂ and invest through the Industrial Strategy, this progress must be accelerated.Â
'This agenda in the New Year needs to be front and centre in the domestic political debate.Â This is not just about aÂ greaterÂ and ambitious North, but building aÂ greaterÂ country.'
Mr Duffy added: 'We are delighted to be sponsoring the 2019Â GreatÂ NorthernÂ Conference.Â Yorkshire Bank has a proud of history of supporting businesses across the North of England and we know just what a critical time this is for discussing our future economic strategy.
'Delivering on the promise of aÂ NorthernÂ Powerhouse has never been more important and businesses across the region, particularly small and medium enterprises, desperately need to see plans for infrastructure, skills, business finance and political devolution come to pass.Â
'The conference will be a huge opportunity for business to focus minds on how to turn ambition into reality.'
The event will focus on tackling the gap in educational attainment between the North and the rest of the UK, ensuring that skilled workers can be attracted, trained and retained, increasing health outcomes and building on capabilities of advanced manufacturing, energy, digital and health.
Tickets are available at www.greatnorthernpowerhouse.co.uk