Downtown in Business Manchester recently hosted a special members meeting at Gaucho Restaurant on St, Mary’s Street in Manchester City Centre. The delegation heard from Chair of Manchester Science Partnership, Rowena Burns who spoke about the importance of health to a strong and thriving society and economy. Manchester Science Partnership and the Alderley Park development are home to over 200 tech companies of varying size working on to use both tech and data to the betterment of society as a whole right here in Manchester. Rowena is also Chair of Health Innovation Manchester, who exist to join up the life sciences with healthcare providers such as the NHS and the 10 authorities of the GMCA.

Rowena explained that you only need to turn on the TV in our current pandemic situation to hear the daily conflict of balancing health with economy. Asked the question which would take prevalence of course the answer is neither and both. A health citizen feeds a healthy economy and a healthy economy can care for it’s citizens better. The work of Health Innovation Manchester is pioneering this and calls for greater devolution in order to keep these conversations working for the communities they operate in as a model for the country, and the world.

Downtown in Business CEO, Frank McKenna asked if we are on track to strike that balance in society? Rowena said there is a lot of work yet to do but told the delegation that as a society we need to be more decisive and more brave and to stay ambitious to create business models that work across “total place” and work both for the companies and for the citizens in any economic zone.

The final word of the day was that through Brexit, the UK has isolated itself a little and should be working beyond this pandemic to the next global issue by building that global community.

A huge thank you to all the staff at Gaucho Restaurant  who were incredible hosts and not only delivered great service and food but managed to do so in a completely safe environment.


Words by Patrick Gaffney @DIB_PatrickG