Downtown in Business Lancashire hosted a stimulating event at the beautiful Hallmark Hotel Preston Leyland in Preston on Wednesday 19th June 2019.

The event, hosted in association with Deloitte, brought together a panel and audience of business leaders passionate about the future of economic growth in the North and Lancashire region, to discuss the economic challenges facing the region and their solutions.

After a fabulous lunch provided by the excellent Hallmark catering staff, Downtown CEO Frank Mckenna explained: “We’ve brought you all here today because as Business leaders, you have an opinion, and we’d like you to voice it!”.

Issues discussed included the North/South divide, London’s monopoly over business and the economic potential and importance of the North and what could be done to promote this, even the economic impact of Brexit was briefly touched on.

Panellist Richard Slater of Lancashire Business View expressed his disappointment that, despite the huge importance of Northern Manufacturing and “having four universities, well positioned to train and skill young people” Lancashire is still not thought of alongside the main cities of the Northern Powerhouse Manchester and Liverpool and continues to lack a voice alongside them at ‘The big Table’.

Emma Degg of NWBLT agreed the Government needs to answer the question ‘what’s going to happen in the middle?’ and “If politicians believe we have a bright trading future outside the EU, they need to invest in Lancashire”.

The resounding message from the afternoon was that it’s up to us to develop our own Northern economy and be proactive in promoting business.