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Agenda Announced for Northern Power Towns Conference

The full agenda has been announced for the Northern Power Towns Conference taking place on Friday, 12th July 2024.

Hosted by Downtown in Business, in partnership with the Northern Power Towns group, and sponsored by Hospitality Hero, Story Homes and Eco Providers, the half-day Northern Power Towns Conference, will take place at the Engine Rooms, Birchwood Park, Warrington, from 9.30am to 1.45pm.

The Northern Power Towns group, which launched in September 2016, is a leading voice for business and civic leaders across the North. This powerful partnership includes councils, businesses, and community organisations, all working together to support inclusive economic growth across the region. Representing millions of residents and communities across the North, the group believes in learning from each other and sharing best practices to help ‘power towns’ thrive across the Northwest.

This highly anticipated conference will bring together leaders, chief executives, and senior decision makers from a range of Northern Power Towns local authorities, alongside private sector partners and keynote speakers, to discuss and debate the opportunities and potential of regional towns.

The full agenda for this action-packed event has now been announced.

The conference will feature a series of panel discussions and keynote speeches, offering insights into how collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors can drive the regional economy forward.

The conference agenda is as follows:

8.30am – 9.30am – Registration & networking

9.30am-9.45am – Introduction to the day

  • – Frank McKenna, chief executive Downtown in Business
  • – Steve Broomhead, CEO Warrington Borough Council

9.45am – 10.30 am – Panel One: New government – What Next?

  • – Claire Hayward, Chair NP11
  • – Harry Shackleton – co-founder, Inflect

10.45am-11.00am – coffee break

11.00am-11.45am – Panel Two – Private sector perspective

  • – John Winstanley, Director, Story Homes
  • – Tim Heatley, Managing Director, Capital & Centric
  • – Rob Mason – Managing Director Ion Developments

11.30am-12.15pm Panel Three – The economy, Skills, and Transport

  • – Katie Day – Strategy Director & Deputy chief executive, Transport for the North
  • – Sandra Rothwell – Employers, Education & Skills Consultant

12.15pm – 12.45pm – Panel Four: Local Government perspective

  • – Local authority executives respond to the debate.

12.45pm -1.45pm – Lunch & networking

Warrington Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Professor Steven Broomhead MBE, who will be speaking at this year’s address commented: “It is great to bring together engaged partners across the Northwest to discuss and debate the opportunities and potential of our regional towns. I am a strong believer in how effective public and private partnership working can address local and regional challenges, and I’m pleased to be part of what I am sure will be stimulating discussion with a number of leaders from across the region about how we can work together to make improvements for our communities.”

Frank McKenna, Chief Executive of Downtown in Business, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Power Towns group to host this important conference. Downtown in Business is a strong advocate of collaboration and partnership, and this event will be focusing on how, by working closely together, in genuine partnership, the private and public sectors can drive the regional economy forward.”

This unique conference event will not only provide invaluable insights from industry experts but also offer a fantastic opportunity for attendees to network and connect with influential figures from across the region. It is a must-attend for individuals invested in the future of their region and business owners looking to develop new strategies, adapt to the latest social and economic changes, and gain valuable insights and connections.

For more information and to register for the event, please contact

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