It’s always one of our most popular events of the year, and we are excited to reveal that our next Northern Powerhouse lunch will be taking place on July 4th.
It’s no secret that the past few years have been full of changes for the UK. The first whispers of the Northern Powerhouse started during the coalition government. The Conservative 2015 general election manifesto included a pledge to “build a Northern Powerhouse”, winning them seats across the North. But the subsequent Brexit vote and appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister brought even uncertainty to the scheme, with speculations that the new PM intended to create a more nationwide scheme, boosting productivity outside the south east, rather than specifically in the North.
And now with the snap election announcement, the Northern Powerhouse plans could see even more disruption. Even if the Conservatives remain in power, there’s no knowing who of the existing Northern Powerhouse ministers will be elected, and who will end up in charge of the project.
Add to this, that the original architect of the Northern Powerhouse, George Osborne, is stepping down from the House of Commons come June. It seems likely that the uncertainty of the future of the Powerhouse will continue into the new government.
The Event Agenda
A key talking point on the agenda will be the new government, who will have been in power for just under a month by then.
With George Osborne stepping down as an MP, change is definitely on the horizon for the project. He is the third key figure in the Powerhouse to move away from the project, following the resignations of Lord O’Neill and David Cameron. While Theresa May has assured the North that she fully backs the Northern Powerhouse, the future of the Powerhouse remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, the Northern Powerhouse Conference in Manchester identified housing as a major focus for the Powerhouse. Transport topics such as HS2, HS3 and the Trans-Pennine Tunnel will continue to be central to the discussion.
Manchester has electing its first mayor this month, although the planned election of a Sheffield mayor was postponed earlier this year. Momentum continues to build to scrap the South Yorkshire proposal in favour of a Yorkshire-wide deal.
But of course, it all depends on who gets voted in come June 8th. The entire agenda is subject to change depending on what happens on election day!
(On that note, a quick reminder to Register To Vote – the deadline is next Monday!).
Our outstanding panel is made up of John Mothersole, CEO of Sheffield City Council; Tom Riordan, CEO of Leeds City Council; and Joanne Roney, CEO of Manchester City Council. The event as a whole is chaired by Juliette Healey of the Bank of England.
The event is taking place at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds on Tuesday 4th July, 11:30am-3pm. Tickets cost £37.50+VAT for members and £60+VAT for non-members, and there will be a £10 surcharge from 26th June. Book your tickets here.