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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Business growth in the north of England: IPPR North conference

At this high-profile conference IPPR North and the Federation of Small Businesses bring together leading experts to explore the latest developments in government policy to support business growth in the north of England. Key national, regional and local stakeholders will discuss how to grow the private sector, looking specifically at how micro, small and medium-sized business can help to rebalance the economy.

Friday 30 November, 09.30-16.00
Leeds Civic Hall, LS1 1UR

The conference will also see the launch of the final report from the Northern Economic Futures Commission, which sets out a long-term strategy for economic growth in the north of England and argues that investment in the region is vital for the national economy as a whole.

Early bird tickets are available now from our booking site
which also includes information on the venue
and the conference programme.

With thanks to:




Leeds City Council


Yorkshire Post

Speakers include:

  • Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury
  • Lucy Armstrong, Chief Executive, The Alchemists
  • Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive, Warrington Borough Council
  • Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman for Policy
  • Councillor Julie Cooper, Leader of Burnley Borough Council
  • Colin Cram, Managing Director, Marc1 Ltd
  • Colin Crooks, Director of Tree Shepherd
  • Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North
  • Clive Davenport, FSB National Chairman for Trade and Industry
  • Steven Falder, Deputy Chairman, Byotrol
  • Bernard Ginns, Business Editor, Yorkshire Post
  • Peter Hetherington, former regional affairs and northern editor of The Guardian
  • Stan Higgins, Chief Executive, NEPIC
  • Adrian Hon, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Six to Start
  • Dr Su Maddock, Senior Research Fellow, Manchester Business School
  • Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, CLES
  • Geoff Muirhead, Chair of the Northern Economic Futures Commission
  • Carole Murray, Deputy Director, Enterprise and Economic Development Analysis, BIS
  • Geoffrey Piper, Chief Executive, North West Business Leadership Team
  • Vicky Pryce, Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting
  • David Ramsden, FSB National Chairman for Economics, Taxation & Financial Affairs
  • Dr Clare Schofield, Enterprise Fellow and Enterprise Champion, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Edward Twiddy, Chief Executive, North East LEP
  • Jessica Zhang, Manager North West, China-Britain Business Council

Questions we want to answer include:

  • Is an SME-led growth strategy the right one for the UK and specifically the North?
  • What are the main opportunities and barriers to SME growth in the North of England?
  • What role can government play in supporting small business development?
  • How can small business be incentivised to take on new staff?
  • Are northern voices sufficiently heard in national conversation?
  • What alternative sources of finance can fill the gap being left by banks?
  • How do we build and support an enterprising culture?
  • How can businesses be supported to enter the export market?
  • How can public procurement practices be simplified and the opened up to small businesses?