Economy and Infrastructure

04.03.19

Business, Innovation & Investment at EvoNorth 2019

One of the key objectives of EvoNorth 2019 was to bring key influencers in their respective industries together to develop fruitful business relationships, identify and pursue vital areas of importance for their sector, and work collaboratively for the shared goal of a Northern Powerhouse – and the two-day event did just that.

A triple helix of collaboration

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The perspicacious analysis from speakers and panellists from the business sector was evident right from the get-go when Emma Degg, chief executive of the North West Business Leadership Team, called for a “triple helix” of sectors working in tandem for the North – with universities, businesses, and local authorities working together for the benefit of societies in the North West. A commitment was made to delve deeper on what both SMEs could do to excel in and drive forward the Northern Powerhouse – highlighted by Susan Clews, chief executive of ACAS, who explained what her organisation could do to help businesses thrive in the region:

Taking a collective voice

The leaders debate hosted experts representing both private and public industries: Natalie Bain, deputy director and Northern Powerhouse lead at the Department for International Trade; Emma Degg; Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership; and Sarah Longlands, director at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The scale of the challenges facing the North were outlined by IPPR director Longlands: a staggering two million adults and one million children still live in poverty in the North, with many trapped by temporary work. Natalie Bain noted that in facing this challenge, the North needs to “take that collective voice to central government,” and lobby the key decision-makers in ways that just were not possible years ago.

What is vital to keeping this momentum, the panel argued, was to restore a sense of purpose, steering the North’s prospects with regards to education and skills.

Tackling the housing crisis

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The ever-present issue of meeting demands for housing the North was well represented by speakers and exhibitors at EvoNorth. Public Sector Plc’s thought leader masterclass outlined the outstanding work the company did in working with local authorities and public sector organisations.

From our speakers including Steve Modric of Homes England North West; and Tracy Harrison, deputy chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium, Tracy outlined the importance of a stable housing market for the success of the Northern Powerhouse: “If the Northern Powerhouse is about the economy then we need to have the jobs. But you also need the right homes in the right places. Housing is integral to the success of the Northern Powerhouse.”

Find out more about what went on at EvoNorth 2019 in our Education and Energy blogs.

 

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