The Great Northern Conference will act as rallying cry for entrepreneurs and innovators

BUSINESS and political leaders will gather in Yorkshire next month to issue a rallying cry on behalf of the North’s entrepreneurs and innovators.

Gavin Opperman, Group Business Banking Director at CYBG speaking at The Great Northern Conference 2019 at New Dock, Royal Armouries in Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson.

The Great Northern Conference aims to act as a sounding board for the North of England as it prepares for the post-Brexit world.

It will include speeches from leading politicians and informed debate about topics ranging from education to transport and technology.

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The Great Northern Conference, which is due to be held on 22nd October 2020, at the Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, will be a hybrid event. There will be an audience in the Cutlers’ Hall, and also an audience watching it virtually from the comfort of their homes.

It follows the stunning success of the inaugural Great Northern Conference in 2019, which was staged in Leeds and attracted speakers from the worlds of religion and commerce.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership and JPIMedia are joining forces again to continue the debate on how best to grow the economy and develop opportunities in a sustainable and meaningful way across the North of England.

The event’s headline sponsor is Virgin Money. Boosting business creation and growth is vital to the success of the Northern Powerhouse and the prosperity of people and communities across the North.

The impact of Covid-19 has highlighted more than ever the importance of supporting businesses across the region as they look to recover and grow.

A spokesman for Virgin Money said: “Supporting the innovation, creativity and growth plans of SMEs is a key part of the identity of Virgin Money – owners of Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank – and what the Northern Powerhouse should also be about. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting the Great Northern Conference in Sheffield on 22nd October.”

SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are crucial to the success of the North of England. They contribute more than half of the North’s private sector turnover and a productive SME sector in the North is vital for raising living standards, building prosperity and strengthening the region’s economy.

The Virgin Money spokesman added “We have a real opportunity to ensure SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse are a central component in the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19 as part of the levelling up agenda.

“The Great Northern Conference will showcase the extensive collaborative work that is already taking place between national and local politicians, businesses and the third sector to support SMEs and communities across the North. It will also explore what the next steps are in continuing the levelling up agenda to give the Northern Powerhouse a greater platform on the UK’s stage.”

Gavin Opperman, Group Business Banking Director at Virgin Money said “We have a rich history of supporting businesses throughout the region, through both the good times and the more challenging times.

“We are committed to continuing helping businesses navigate the challenges they are facing in the current environment and ensuring they have the support they need to prosper in the future.”

Speakers and panellists who have confirmed their attendance for the event so far include Dan Jarvis, the Mayor of Sheffield City Region, who will deliver the address of welcome, Prof Katy Shaw of Northumbria University and Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions for NPIF.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit: https://www.greatnorthernpowerhouse.co.uk/The Great Northern Conference has attracted a host of major sponsors.

Event partner - Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Headline Sponsor - Virgin Money

Key Note Sponsor Sellafield

Key Note Sponsor: Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Breakout Sponsor - Northern Health Alliance

Breakout Sponsor - Northern Gas and Power

Breakout Sponsor - TalkTalk

Breakout Sponsor - Arcadis

Support Sponsor - NPIF

Support Sponsor - Be The Business

Bespoke Support Sponsor - Sheffield Hallam University

Bespoke Support Sponsor - University of Sheffield

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James Mitchinson