Stargazing: Northern Lights 2011

IPPR North, arts, business and industry, communities, culture, local government, media, regional issues, science and technology

Author(s):  Ed Cox
Published date:  04 Feb 2011
Source:  IPPR

IPPR North's Northern Lights list reveals 50 'ones to watch' in the North of England.

Northern Lights 2011 is part of a wider look at where ideas, innovation and inspiration will come from over the next few years as the North seizes the challenges and opportunities ahead.

This is the inaugural edition of IPPR North's Northern Lights Top 50, but it will be repeated each year to highlight the best and the boldest and help our communities shirk any notion that it’s grim up North.

The North is chock-full of talent. Our Northern Lights list shines the spotlight on upcoming stars from politics to poetry, from Liverpool to Lindisfarne.

The list is wide-ranging, and includes Members of Parliament, young entrepreneurs, academics, writers, councillors, community activists, business leaders and creatives.

View the full line-up here:
Northern Lights 2011

The list features 10 MPs with constituencies in the North, with four Conservatives named as having a special role to play voicing Northern issues in Whitehall in 2011, including Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, recently appointed shadow minister for pensions in Ed Miliband's frontbench team at the Department for Work and Pensions is also named as one to watch.

From councils in the North, six councillors are selected, including Julie Dore, Leader of the Labour Group at Sheffield Council who, with the possibility of a significant swing towards Labour in the May local elections, is one of a handful of council opposition leaders that may step into the limelight.

Leading lights from emerging sectors in the North include Geoff Parker from BiOxyDyn, a University of Manchester spin-out company, Stuart Varrell, founder of a new media technology company based in Newcastle, and Alex Fowler, a rising star of renewable energy.

We also identify the young entrepreneurs and established business leaders tasked with leading the region in its return to prosperity.

Also celebrated are the people who put the government’s Big Society agenda into action in communities across the North. Sarah Dunwell, CEO of the CREATE Foundation in Yorkshire made the cut after she led CREATE to win the Prime Minister’s second Big Society Award.

Manchester emerges from the list as a hub for creative talent with journalist Pamela Welsh, a reporter at the Manchester Evening News, Simon Judd from BBC Drama North, Ross Philips, an up-and-coming animator and Phil Northall from the Creative Industries Networking Group all named as inspiring Northerners.

The only musician to make the list is Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds School of Music who, at the age of just 30, has made her name as composer in increasing demand.


Our people

Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North