Here's who will be speaking at this year's Great Northern Conference

Have your say

The mayors of three of the North’s biggest cities are among a raft of speakers announced for next month’s Great Northern Conference.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, Dan Jarvis, mayor of Sheffield City Region, and Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of Liverpool City Region, will all be taking part in sessions about collaboration and empowerment at the event which will take place at Sheffield’s Cutler’s Hall on Thursday, March 19.

Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham

Click here for tickets
The event, the largest business conference in the North of England, is now in its second year and is organised by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and The Yorkshire Post’s owner JPI Media.

This year’s event is designed to explore and highlight the key opportunities and challenges for the North in a post-Brexit Britain. As well as the mayors it will feature more than 25 key figures from industry, politics, public sector, the media and Government.

Also confirmed so far are Peel Airports director Robert Hough, Virgin Money CEO, David Duffy, and Sellafield head of corporate affairs, Jamie Reed.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry MP said: “As we develop the next stage of regional growth in the North, let’s ensure no-one is left behind.

Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

“The new strategy we are working on needs to ensure our great northern cities continue to get the tools they need to drive the engine of our region’s economy.”

The conference will cover a wide range of subjects, including education, connectivity, trading, investment and many smaller break-out workshops, under the #OneNorth banner.

It is sponsored by some of the biggest names in industry, with Sellafield, Virgin Money, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Northern Gas & Power and Talk Talk all on board.

Gavin Opperman, group business director, Virgin Money, said: “Virgin Money is delighted to be the headline sponsor of this year’s Great North Conference, which is now an important date in the region’s business and political calendar.

Steve Rotheram

Steve Rotheram

“It provides businesses, politicians and local media with the perfect platform to continue the discussion on how best to grow the economy and develop opportunities in a sustainable and meaningful way across the North of England.”

He added: “In the North, we have a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, coupled with numerous excellent higher education institutions.

“Despite uncertainty in the economy post Brexit we must not stand still and be hesitant.

“Instead we must continue to drive the innovation and development as these are key drivers to a healthy and vibrant economy not only in the North but the UK as a whole.”

The Archbishop of York at last year's event.

The Archbishop of York at last year's event.

Delegate places are still available. Visit for details on how to attend.

James Mitchinson, editor of The Yorkshire Post, said: “The General Election saw much in the way of promises made to the North. Now is the time for those promises to be properly

articulated; properly scrutinised and properly delivered.

“Last year’s successful inaugural Great Northern Conference was born out of this vision, with its ambition widely supported by business leaders across the North.

“This year’s conference will be a high-profile opportunity to put these matters to senior Government figures with the expectation that detailed plans will be forthcoming.”