University boss calls for action on North South divide

Improving skill levels and infrastructure are the two key issues to closing the North/South divide, the leader of one of the North’s top universities has said.

Manchester University President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

University of Manchester vice chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell is one of the keynote speakers at the Great Northern Conference next month.

Held on February 26 at the Royal Armouries it has the aim of bringing together all parts of the region to speak with one voice.

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Speaking ahead of the all-day event Dame Rothwell said: “The key to bridging the gap between north and south is two things, skills and infrastructure. And the university and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership are working on both.

“Obviously for us as a university, developing further the skills of people in the north is incredibly important.”

Among those due to appear include Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, LNER managing director David Horne, Elaine Bowker, chief executive Liverpool City College, CYBG chief executive David Duffy, Siemens CEO Juergen Maier, and Peter Dowd, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

They will be joined by Northern Powerhouse architects George Osborne and Lord O’Neill and the event will be presented by broadcaster Ranvir Singh.

The event is sponsored by CYBG, LNER, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and The Yorkshire Post’s parent company JPIMedia. Tickets are available at