Downtown Lancashire in Business recently hosted a special roundtable event at The Holiday Inn Hotel Preston. The event started with an update from economist Mike Emmerich from Metro-Dynamics on the Independent Economic Review and its findings so far on the region. Following Mike’s successful economic review of the Greater Manchester region in Sir Howard Bernstein’s team back in 2007 – 2017, Metro-Dynamics’ have set themselves up in a similar way to provide support and advice in a different way, focussing on the reality of how places function and their very different stories and opportunities.
The delegates were updated on various aspects of their work including the intervention life cycle, from analysis, strategy, project development, finance and business cases, through delivery, evaluation and monitoring.
The group then had input from Lancashire County Council’s Executive Director, Stephen Young, and his reaction so far to the findings of Metro-Dynamics work and how the council intend to make the most use out of the information uncovered by Mike and his team.
Local Preston business owner Max Walker-Williams of Walker-Williams explained to the group the frustrations he faces at the moment with the economic plan in the city centre of Preston and the pressure put on the cities business talent by the dazzling lights of economic hubs such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and London and asked the question “how do we get talent to stay in Preston and the wider Lancashire region?” One suggestion being that better, interconnectivity of the individual regional councils across the county to speak with one voice, an initiative being pushed by the upcoming bid for City of Culture for the region.
Special thanks to our hosts, The Holiday Inn Hotel Preston.