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Professor Stephen Morris, Professor of Evaluation, Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) (invited)

During this ‘Hot Seat’ Session Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, will lay out his case and plans for devolved powers for economic growth across the North and delegates will have the opportunity to ask direct questions about the future of economic growth in northern regions. This will ensure attendees are given the opportunity to raise their concerns, enquire about future strategic projects moving forward and more directly engage with the speaker. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester (invited)

  • Launching the Next Steps for the Northern Powerhouse in February 2019 to develop policies which will uniquely support local economic growth in the north
  • Supporting £100 billion investment in northern transport, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), given the restrictions on growth of an outdated transport system in the north
  • Securing a digital future for northern towns by delivering full fibre to the premises of every business and home by 2025, which could be worth $47.2 billion to the northern economy
  • Implementing and distributing a £250 million Housing Investment Fund to build communities around northern regions pinpointed for outstanding growth potential
  • Securing a range of devolution deals to enable local authorities in the north to gain greater control over regional growth strategies
  • Pushing for a rebalancing on research and development (R&D) spending so that universities in the North have access to an equivalent level as universities in the south

Julie Elliott MP, MP for Sunderland and Member, Northern Powerhouse APPG (CONFIRMED)

  • Providing a clear update on The Northern Powerhouse project as the central route to economic growth in northern regions, as outlined by The Industrial Strategy
  • Outlining how Industrial Strategy Sector Deals have benefitted growth in the north and how local authorities in the north will continue to be prioritised through this investment
  • Launching Local Industrial Strategies in October 2018 to ensure that councils, universities and private sector organisations are tailoring growth strategies to their region
  • Understanding growth, skills, productivity and employment dilemmas unique to northern regions and what local authorities, universities and the private sector can do to solve these
  • Updating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, designed to reduce inequalities between local areas and councils via inclusive growth funding for local authorities

Nicola Headlam, Head of Northern Powerhouse, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (invited)

  • Delivering a large range of transport and infrastructure schemes across the region as a central means of increasing employment, economic growth and productivity
  • Enhancing transport infrastructure through the £1 billion West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, creating 20,000 jobs whilst focusing on environmentally friendly, low carbon economic growth through green infrastructure projects
  • Working in partnership with five local councils and the City of York Council to better connect people to jobs and training opportunities, such as through the Castleford Northern Gateway and the roll out of Smart Motorways
  • Delivering over 30 different transport schemes as part of the region’s economic growth strategy, moving towards a singular metro transport network and investing directly in projects that reduce congestion to improve productivity

Senior Representative, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (CONFIRMED)

  • Placing skills development at the heart of Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub by establishing a Skills and Employment Hub and Skill’s Capital Programme which aim to not only create jobs, but also ensure they are highly skilled and productive
  • Providing bespoke training courses and accredited qualifications to more than 7,500 learners from 2,100 businesses
  • Delivering £26 million of Growth Deal Skills Programme funding across 16 skills facilities throughout the local area to provide tailored skills hubs for different sectors
  • Launching an Engineering Innovation Centre alongside the University of Central Lancashire, pioneering knowledge exchange with local businesses and schools
  • Creating 1,200 new jobs within the region since 2016 and demonstrating that the zone has the potential to create over 55,000 new jobs in the next decade

Stephen Young, Executive Director of Growth, Lancashire County Council (CONFIRMED)

  • Developing a Digital & Creative Board to support economic growth via an extensive digital and creative business expansion scheme
  • Launching the LCR Activate Accelerator Project, a £5 million scheme to support and fund over 60 businesses across 11 sectors working in digital and emerging technologies
  • Collaborating between universities through the £15 million Sensor City, a flagship University Enterprise Zone to provide industry partners with the financial means and facilities to translate technological concepts into commercially viable solutions
  • Employing over 22,000 through this technological investment scheme whilst achieving a 144% increase in digital business between 2011 and 2016

Jonathon Clark, ACR Activate and Technology Manager, Liverpool John Moores University (CONFIRMED)

  • Ensuring that a strategic northern transport revolution is at the very centre of economic growth strategies moving forward
  • Releasing a Strategic Transport Plan which demonstrates that investment in transport could deliver £100 billion growth in Gross Value Added, in addition to 850,000 jobs
  • Delivering the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) through £39 billion of investment, with the Strategic Outline Business Case receiving Board approval earlier this year
  • Delivering inclusive economic growth through targeting short trips, which in turn should reduce local congestion and target environmentally friendly growth through cycle routes

Tim Foster, Head of Economy, Transport for the North (CONFIRMED)

  • Launching the UKRI Strength in Places Fund, a competitive fund to support projects between £10-£50 million involving research organisations, businesses and local leadership to bring regional growth
  • Distributing the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), which support universities to work with the wider society, such as local authorities and businesses, to benefit the economy
  • Enhancing local R&I collaborations, building on the underpinning regional economic role of universities, research institutes, Catapults and other R&D facilities
  • Achieving UKRI’s mission and closing the gap between regions with the worst economic growth and the highest economic growth by providing funding to kickstart innovation

Rachel Tyrrell, Strength in Places Programme Director, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (CONFIRMED)

  • Emphasising how place and localisation should be a central aspect of local council’s involvement in the Industrial Strategy if we are to tackle productivity and skills problems in Northern towns
  • Understanding why businesses locate where they do and what this means for strategies in the North, including targeting digital skills, technical skills and academic-led research bases
  • Outlining what each Local Industrial Strategy in the North should focus on to maximise impact, and why focusing on existing strengths can potentially do more harm than good

Paul Swinney, Director of Policy and Research, Centre for Cities (CONFIRMED)

  • Launching the June 2018 Cultural Development Fund (CDF), a £20 million fund to invest in digital, culture and creative industries as an alternative means towards driving local growth
  • Implementing the March 2018 Creative Industries Sector Deal to build on creative strengths, attract visitors and support over 700 businesses to pursue creative growth strategies
  • Distributing creative skills training to over 2,000 people to ensure that local people have the training required to fill the additional 1,300 jobs created through CDF funding
  • Developing immersive and digital technology within the local creative economy, in addition to cultural research and development opportunities for local organisations

Tom Robbins, Head of Cultural Development Fund & Place Based Cultural Investment, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (CONFIRMED)

  • Launching Harrogate Borough Council’s Economic Growth Strategy in 2017 to prioritise local growth via investment in local brands, digital connectivity and high-quality transport links
  • Providing direct, tailored support at the council to over 200 local businesses to ensure that investment is directed heavily towards local brands, with 75% of companies rating Harrogate district as “good for business”
  • Securing over £500,000 of grant funding for local businesses, including over £200,000 in investment in the Digital Enterprise Support Programme, which has improved local productivity via knowledge exchange and digital implementation
  • Securing over 30 large inward investment enquires which has supported over 1,000 jobs created in the district
  • Gaining £13 million of funding to drastically improve local rail infrastructure, with a doubling in frequency of the number of trains travelling between Harrogate and large cities, such as Leeds, in the past year

Daniel Harper, Executive Officer – Economy and Transport (Place-shaping and Economic Growth), Harrogate Borough Council (CONFIRMED)

  • Investing £17 million of Staffordshire University funds to deliver a ‘Digital Apprenticeships and Skills Hub’ to better meet the technical needs of local employers
  • Working in partnership with Staffordshire Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Microsoft to deliver 6,500 new apprenticeships which provide the highest level of digital literacy to fully maximise employability
  • Ensuring 100 local businesses are engaged in the University’s digital innovation apprenticeship programme so that the local region benefits most from this programme
  • Producing 3,000 digitally enabled graduates from the programme, with 50% more digitally skilled graduates staying within the region once they have finished their programme

Sarah Tudor, Director of Employer Partnerships, Staffordshire University (CONFIRMED)

*Programme subject to change