Meet the Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced in due course.

Danni Hewson

Great Northern Conference Host
Danni Hewson is the voice of Business on BBC Radio 5 Live. From hosting the station’s flagship business programme Wake Up To Money to demystifying complicated consumer issues during drive time. She still steps in front of the camera from time to time for BBC Breakfast, most recently driving a milk float through the streets of Manchester. A huge chunk of her career was spent reporting and presenting for BBC Look North as their award winning Business and Money Correspondent. She’s broadcast from fishing boats in the North Sea, deep down in our last remaining coal mines and from a whole host of the region’s manufacturing bases. She’s interviewed Prime Ministers, CEO’s of multi-national corporations and Hollywood movie stars. Despite stepping across the Pennines for work Danni still lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two teen/tween age girls.

RUTH NIC AOIDH

Executive Director - Purchasing, SQA, Commercial, Legal and Government Affairs
Ruth joined McLaren Group in January 2009 as Legal Adviser, becoming an Executive Director at McLaren Automotive in January 2014. She was appointed Company Secretary in January 2016.

Ruth’s current position at McLaren encompasses all purchasing, SQA, commercial, government and legal facets of the business. She plays a pivotal role in strategic and commercial affairs across McLaren Automotive overseeing all external engagements as well as developing and managing the key relationships with suppliers, regulatory authorities and strategic partners. Furthermore, she is responsible for managing all corporate governance and legal aspects of McLaren Automotive and its subsidiaries around the world. Ruth also leads all Government Affairs activity for the McLaren Group.

Ruth is a member of the Executive Board, shaping and influencing key management decisions and future strategy of McLaren Automotive. She also sits on the Board of Directors acting as Company Secretary.

Mark Ball

Creative Director, Manchester  International Festival (MIF)
Mark Ball is Creative Director of Manchester International Festival (MIF), where he is responsible for leading the artistic programme for The Factory, MIF’s new large scale venue for arts and culture. From April 2009 to June 2017 he was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT),one of Europe’s leading arts festivals. From January 2008 – April 2009 he was Head of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, establishing a new department focussed on developing new work and new audiences and from 1998 - 2007, he was the Artistic Director of "Fierce!", an annual international festival of theatre, live art and contemporary dance taking place in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

Miranda Barker

CEO Of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Board Member of the Lancashire LEP
Miranda Barker is Chief Executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber lobbies for its members and the wider East Lancashire business community, engages in public-private partnerships for economic regeneration, and provides advice, support and commercial services to business, specialising in international trade, procurement, creative, low carbon and professional business training.
Regionally, Miranda Chairs the North West’s Regional Manufacturing Forum and the Lancashire ESIF committee, is a Lancashire LEP Director and sits on the LEP’s Business Support Management Board. Working in partnership with the businesses and the Local Authorities across East Lancashire to promote strong local economies and inward investment.

Judith Blake

Leader of Leeds City Council
Councillor Judith Blake was elected as the first ever female Leader of Leeds City Council in May 2015. She is the Council’s Executive Board Member for Inclusive Growth and Culture.
Councillor Blake is the Chair of the Core Cities Group. The Group represents the Councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London, along with Glasgow and Cardiff. She is also Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children & Young People’s Board.

Jessica Bowles

Strategy Director, Bruntwood
Jessica is the Strategy Director at Bruntwood having joined the business in April 2016, a new role to support the company’s ambitions for long term growth. She is working across the Group with the teams in our existing markets to look at future opportunities and setting this in the context of the way that cities are growing and changing.
Previously Jessica worked at Manchester City Council as head of City Policy. She developed the 10 year Manchester Strategy ‘Our Manchester’, lead work on the Northern Powerhouse with Sir Richard Leese and other city leaders and took a central role in the devolution agenda. Before coming to Manchester Jessica spent 15 years in Whitehall in a diverse range of roles related to transport and local government.

Annette Bramley

Director, n8 Research Partnership
Annette joined the N8 Research Partnership as Director in January 2018 and has overseen a re-invigoration of the partnership, the strategic research collaboration between the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England. Since her appointment, more than £4.5M new funding has been secured for strategically important initiatives. The latest bid, Net Zero North has been submitted to the UK Government and seeks to drive a green recovery from Covid-19 and levelling – up of the Northern economy through innovation and skills for net zero.

Allan Cook

Non-Executive Chair, HS2
Allan Cook CBE DSc is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ international experience in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.

His experience includes serving as Co-Chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, Chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, as a director of JF Lehman and Company, and as a former lead non-executive director for the then-Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under the coalition government.

Among his other senior posts, he was also chair of WS Atkins Plc, Leonardo UK, and Deputy Chair of Marshalls Group. He served as the CEO of Cobham Plc from 2000 to 2009.

Ken Cooper

Managing Director of Venture Solutions, British Business Bank
Ken Cooper is Managing Director of Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank where he is responsible for the design and delivery of a number of programmes that support the flow of investment into UK businesses including the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund as well as the Enterprise Capital Fund programme and the Angel CoFund. Together these represent around £2bn of investment into SMEs. 

Previously Ken had a similar role in Capital for Enterprise and before that was responsible for the UK Government’s SME finance policy within the Small Business Service.

Jon Dutton

Chief Executive, Rugby League World Cup 2021
Jon Dutton is the Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and has been involved in the project since the inception in late 2015, having successfully led the bid for the tournament. A sports management graduate with over 25 years’ experience in the sports industry, Jon has a wealth of knowledge, having previously worked for the PGA European Golf Tour, The FA, UEFA & the Tour de France as well as running his own sports consultancy company.
His dedication towards using sport to implement change in the community is driving RLWC2021 towards their aim to be the biggest and best rugby league world cup in history, while creating inspirational moments that excite, engage and leave a long-lasting legacy.

Clare Elliott

Service Director, Wakefield Council
Since February 2018, Clare has been Service Director for Economic Growth and Skills at Wakefield Council introducing a new future proofed Economic Strategy for the District which focuses on how to utilise housing, skills, adult education, business support, strategic regeneration and economic development to drive forward successful business, successful people and successful places.

Having operated at local, regional and national levels in pursuit of inclusive economic growth, Clare has played a central role in establishing the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, leading the Key Cities network and shaping the Leeds City Region approach to devolution, skills and regeneration. Most recently during her time at Wakefield Clare has led on an ambitious and complex programme of city and town centre regeneration schemes with successes around accelerated housing growth, master plan led revitalisation of the Districts most deprived towns and securing multi million pound investments from across the private and public sectors. Driven by the fact that it is people and skills which truly drive economic prosperity, Clare has also recently overseen the introduction of a large scale skills and employment brokerage service which will ensure it is Wakefield residents and businesses that thrive within its increasingly vibrant
places.

Nick Forbes

Leader of Newcastle City Council
Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, is passionate about tackling inequality and prejudice and is determined Newcastle will become a better, fairer place under his leadership.
Nick has been leader since April 2011 and 'hit the ground running' with the city's biggest ever consultation initiative, Let's Talk Newcastle, which gives anyone in the city the chance to have a say on what they think Newcastle's priorities should be.

Steve Foxley

ED, University of Sheffield AMRC
Steve leads the AMRC Management Board, developing and strengthening relationships with new and existing industrial partners; engaging with government to identify opportunities for further strategic development; and establishing relationships with key stakeholders to ensure the continued development and investment in the Sheffield City Region and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.

Prior to joining the AMRC, Steve was a member of the Executive Management Board of Siemens plc and led the Siemens Smart Infrastructure business - an exciting growth area within the UK & Ireland markets. Previously he was the Director of Industry Services for Siemens, a leading supplier of services for automation and drive technologies to industrial customers across the UK and Ireland.

Debbie Francis

City Executive for Manchester and the North, Arcadis
Debbie Francis is Account Director and City Executive for Manchester and the North at Arcadis. Prior to her role at Arcadis, Debbie was Managing Director at Direct Rail Services Limited since 2016 following over three years at Network Rail as the Finance & Commercial Director for the LNW route. Debbie has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. She has also gained extensive experience throughout her career both in the UK and overseas in finance, systems, commercial, operations and business development. She is passionate about the north, business, diversity and equality, developing and promoting talent.

Steve Haake

Founding Director, Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University and Director of Engagement
Steve has a first-class degree in physics from the University of Leeds and a PhD from the University of Aston, sponsored by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. He was awarded and OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2020 for services to sport. He sits on the Technical Commission of the International Tennis Federation, the English Institute of Sport Technical Steering Panel and is Chair of both the parkrun Research Board and the Active Travel Advisory Board for the Sheffield City Region.

He is Founding Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and now Director of Engagement. This centre seeks to take the technologies and lessons learnt in sport and translate them into technologies that will help people become more active. The grand vision is for the centre to help improve the quality of life of UK citizens by using sport and physical activity as treatment for long term chronic diseases.

Clare Hayward

Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP
Clare is a highly competent chair and facilitator at senior management and board level. Co-founded, developed and sold Academee, a global leadership development consultancy, to Oliver Wyman, a division of Marsh and McLennan Companies in 2008. Retained post-acquisition as Global Partner of Sales and Market Development within this Fortune250 group. A successful business women and entrepreneur focused on leadership and strategic engagement who has coached, facilitated and chaired boards, senior management teams and leaders across the globe over the last 20 years working in industry sectors including technology, banking and finance, natural resources, retail and manufacturing. Experience also includes investment funding and negotiating the sale and purchase of several businesses. Clare also has significant experience within the community, charity and local political landscape.

Robert Hough CBE

Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Robert Hough joined the Peel Group in 1986 and was its Executive Deputy Chairman for many years. He is now Chairman of Peel Airports Group, which includes Liverpool and Doncaster Sheffield Airports. He has been closely involved in many significant projects for the North of England, including as Chair of Manchester's Commonwealth Games, the North West Regional Development Agency, Liverpool City Region LEP and Board Member of The Northern Way. He has been a Non-Executive Director of several listed companies and Deputy Chair of the University of Manchester Board of Governors. He is currently Chair of the North West Business Leaders Council of Teach First.

CLLR Susan Hinchcliffe

Leader, Bradford Council
As an Executive member for Employment, Skills and Culture across the Bradford District, Susan, oversaw the largest local authority jobs programme in the country – Get Bradford Working in 2012. Following which she assumed political responsibility for Education in Bradford.

Nick Hughes

Sales Director – Hitachi Rail Limited
Nick leads Hitachi Rail’s sales division, based in the London headquarters. With over 20 years’ experience delivering equipment supply and services across the rail sector, Nick is building on Hitachi Rail’s impressive sales record to secure new rolling stock and traffic management contracts across the UK and Europe. Nick joined Hitachi after previously serving as Chairman & UK Country Representative for Ansaldo STS UK and earlier as Sales and Marketing Director for Alstom Transport.

DAN JARVIS

Mayor of Sheffield City Region
Dan Jarvis was elected the first Mayor of Sheffield City Region in May 2018.

He also serves as the MP for Barnsley Central having become the first person since World War Two to resign his military commission in order to contest a Parliamentary by-election.

As Mayor of the Sheffield City Region he works with the local authority leaders and business leaders from across the Sheffield City Region to drive prosperity and growth for all. As a sitting MP Dan is also able to represent the Sheffield City Region right at the heart of Government.

Owain Jones

Managing Director, Wizz Air UK
Mr Jones joined Wizz Air as General Counsel in 2010, was promoted to Chief Corporate Officer in June 2014 and appointed as Managing Director of Wizz Air UK in September 2018. Mr Jones is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Having trained at Nicholson Graham & Jones (1994 to 1996), Mr Jones joined Wilde Sapte (now Dentons LLP) in 1996 as a solicitor in its aviation group, specialising in finance and regulatory matters. Mr Jones holds a bachelor of laws degree from University College London.

Jonathan Kini

Managing Director for TalkTalk Business
Jonathan Kini is the Managing Director of TalkTalk Business, responsible for leading and shaping the growth of one of the UK’s largest B2B providers of broadband, fibre and ethernet data services. Prior to this, Jonathan has held senior roles in Virgin Media and Vodafone across both B2C and B2B, most recently working for Drax Plc as CEO of the Customer Business. He also works as an advisor to the Bank of England.

He is also the Chair of Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) Net Zero Carbon Taskforce, working with Government, BITC and businesses of all sizes to find simple, effective and innovative ways to help companies take action and create a more sustainable future for us all.

Marie Lang

Director, GBAC Accountants
Marie Lang is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

She has over 25 years' experience working in and advising SMEs. She joined gbac in 2010 and specialises in Corporate Finance and Transaction Services, in addition to being a Senior Statutory Auditor.

From 2010 to 2018 she was also a member and past Chair of the IAASB and IESBA Consultative Advisory Groups in her capacity as the Technical Director of EFAA. Prior to joining gbac, she held senior positions with KPMG and was CFO for a variety of companies. She holds a BA (Hons) from Lancaster University.

Kath MacKay

Non Executive Director Northern Health Science Alliance
Dr Kath Mackay is Non Executive Director of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) the Northern Powerhouse for Health helping companies & organisations globally to access the health and life science expertise of 8 cities. Established in 2013 as a partnership between the leading NHS trusts, universities and Academic Health Science Networks across northern England, NHSA combines research and clinical excellence.

Kath is also Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech - Alderley Park, the UK’s largest single site life science and innovation campus. She is on the leadership team of Bruntwood SciTech - a 50:50 JV between Bruntwood and Legal & General and the UK’s leading property company dedicated to driving to the growth of the science and technology sector. Kath is also Non Executive Director of Infex Therapeutics, a clinical development company which acquires, develops and licenses innovative drugs to treat pandemic infections, and the National Biofilms Innovation Centre, which is a UKRI funded centre building research and innovation capacity and catalysing collaboration with industry in the study of biofilms to achieve breakthrough innovation.

Kath was previously on the executive management team of Innovate UK where she was Director of Ageing Society, Health and Nutrition, leading the economic growth of the life science and technology sectors through business led innovation.

Juergen Maier CBE

Juergen Maier is Chair of the Digital Catapult, co-Chairs Made Smarter and serves on the Industrial Strategy Council which advises Government on Industrial Strategy. Juergen argues strongly for the modern re-industrialisation of the North of England and is a board member of both the Greater Manchester LEP and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Rose Marley

CEO SharpFutures, Chair Greater Manchester Social Enterprise Advisory Group
Rose Marley is Chief Executive of SharpFutures the social enterprise partner of The Sharp Project, home to digital entrepreneurs and production companies, and Space Studios Manchester, a purpose built facility for large scale TV & film production servicing clients including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Netflix. Both SharpFutures and Rose Marley have won a variety of awards including Women in Ethical Business for The Sunday Times and Tridos bank, the Prolific North awards for apprenticeships and digital delivery and most recent the Institute of Directors North West ‘highly commended’ Director of the Year. Rose will commence as the new CEO of Cooperatives UK in January 2021 representing thousands of coops across the UK.

Rob McIntosh

Route Managing Director, Network Rail
Rob undertook a mechanical engineering apprenticeship after leaving school, starting his rail career by becoming a Railtrack graduate in 1996 and has 15 years’ experience of delivering railway projects. As Vice President Delivery at Invensys Rail Northern Europe (now Siemens Rail Automation), Rob was involved with both mainline UK and London Underground projects as well as international projects in Europe and Asia. Now as Managing Director for the Eastern he leads a team of over 10,000 staff and is responsible for operating, maintaining, renewing over a third of the UK rail network miles delivering an extensive capital investment portfolio £1.5 p.a.

Dr Liz Mear

Managing Director, Leeds Academic Health Partnership
Dr Liz Mear is the new Managing Director of the Leeds Academic Health Partnership. The partnership harnesses world class research and HealthTech solutions and drives adoption into practice to improve the health of residents and the economic growth of the region.
Liz was the founding chief executive of the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast. She has built innovation and business collaborations regionally, nationally and internationally, to improve healthcare.
Previously, she was CEO of The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in neuroscience.
She is a Non-Executive Director for Health Education England and has recently retired from the Boards of Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership and the Northern Health Science Alliance.
She has held a number of executive roles in NHS organisations following 17 years in local government.

Professor Malcolm MorleY OBE

Non-Executive Chairman, Radioactive Waste Management
Malcolm is Non-Executive Chairman of Radioactive Waste Management Limited, the subsidiary of the NDA that is responsible for the delivery of the multi-billion pound geological disposal facility for higher activity radioactive waste. Until recently he was also a Non-Executive Director of the £4.5billion turnover Health Education England where he was Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee.

A former Council chief executive he understands the challenges of local government and the importance of joint working within and between sectors. As a specialist in strategic management and partnership working he is the author of two books: Understanding Markets and Strategy: How to exploit markets for sustainable business growth and The Public Private Partnership Handbook: How to maximise value from joint working. He leads the Centre for Partnership Working at Anglia Ruskin University.

GaVIN oPPERMAN

Group Business Banking Director, Virgin Money
Gavin joined the Group in November 2015 as Group Customer Banking Director, with responsibility for Retail and Business & Private Banking.

He has been in banking for over 30 years with experience in leading large-scale teams in Retail (incl. Digital), Commercial, Corporate and Investment Banking.

Gavin was previously Regional Head of Consumer Banking (Hong Kong, Taiwan and China), Standard Chartered based in China.

Prior to this he spent almost 20 years with the Barclays / Absa Group, where he progressed through a number of senior roles before being appointed as Managing Director of Absa (Asia) Ltd and later Chief Executive of Absa’s Retail Bank.

Rt Hon George Osborne

Politician & Journalist
George Osborne served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from May 2010 until July 2016. He was also First Secretary of State from May 2015 until July 2016. He was elected the Conservative MP for Tatton, Cheshire in June 2001.

Ruth Pitt

Director, Creative Cities Convention
Ruth Pitt is chair of Leeds 2023, a multi-million pound investment programme leading to an international festival of culture for the city. She is also managing director of creative media consultancy Under The Moon and director of the Creative Cities Convention, a platform for broadcasters and producers working in the screen industries outside London.

Originally a reporter and news presenter at Radio Tees and Yorkshire Television, Ruth has run documentary departments for the BBC, Granada Television and Tiger Aspect Productions as well as her own independent TV production company Real Life. She has sat on a range of advisory panels across the cultural sector and was advisory chair of the
Edinburgh International Television Festival, chair of the Nations and Regions Media Conference and previously Executive Director of Screen England. She regularly  interviews writers, celebrities and politicians at live events and is a regular contributor to a range of publications.

Jamie Reed

Head of Corporate Affairs, Sellafield Ltd
Jamie Reed is Sellafield Ltd’s Head of Corporate Affairs, and former Member of Parliament for Copeland. As a Member of Parliament Jamie served as both Shadow Environment and Shadow Health Minister in addition to being a UK representative on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Jamie re-joined Sellafield Ltd in 2017, having previously worked for the company prior to becoming MP for Copeland in 2005.

Born and raised in west Cumbria, his role with Sellafield Ltd enables him to work to develop the business whilst ensuring its activities have the most beneficial impact upon the local community.

Katy Shaw

Professor of Contemporary Writings, Northumbria University UK
Prof Katy Shaw leads research into twenty-first century writings at Northumbria University. Her research interests include contemporary literature, especially working class literature, cultural representations of post-industrial regeneration and the languages of comedy. Katy is an expert in twenty-first century literature. She has produced two books on crime author David Peace, a monograph on representations of the Credit Crunch in contemporary culture, and a collection on the teaching of twenty-first century genre fiction. Her latest book Hauntology (2018) explores the persistent role of the past in the present of contemporary English Literature. She is a public intellectual, literary festival host, media presenter and Twitterer.

Rt Hon Grant Shapps

Secretary of State for Transport
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps was appointed Secretary of State for Transport on 24 July 2019. He was Minister of State at Department for International Development from 11 May 2015 until 28 November 2015. He was elected the Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005.

Fiona Spellman

CEO, SHINE
Fiona has over 10 years of experience working to improve education for disadvantaged children. She began her professional life as a secondary maths teacher in a challenging Northern school, and is now CEO of the SHINE Trust, leading their strategy to invest in educational excellence across the Northern Powerhouse.

Dame Sarah Storey

Active Travel Commissioner, Sheffield City Region
Dame Sarah Storey is Britain’s most successful female Paralympian, with 14 gold medals to her name in both cycling and swimming and more than 30 world championship titles.
In April 2019, Dame Sarah was appointed as Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region, a role which involves working alongside Mayor Dan Jarvis to create a region in which more people travel on foot, by bike or by public transport.
Dame Sarah has set out four pledges which will define her work as Active Travel Commissioner. These are: being led by communities; enabling walking and cycling rather than encouraging it; requiring infrastructure to meet or exceed requirements; and requiring infrastructure to be accessible for all.
A passionate advocate of walking and cycling, Dame Sarah is determined to inspire a new way of thinking about travelling by bike or on foot in the region. Through listening to communities and speaking to politicians, she aims to enable more people to choose to leave the car at home and travel in a way which is healthy for body, mind and the environment.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin

Director of City & Culture, University of Sheffield
Professor Vanessa Toulmin is Chair in Early Film and Popular Entertainment and currently Director of City & Culture for the University, a post she held for six years. Her role is to deliver the public engagement and research strategy across the University, work with external stakeholders including Arts Council and other cultural funders and help create a strategy for city vibrancy. As both a historian and festival Director, Vanessa has worked both nationally and internationally curating and delivering economic projects of high cultural regeneration in Blackpool, Margate and is currently Chair of the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust in Morecambe. She set up and is the Director of the University's Festival of the Mind and also the Director of Off the Shelf Festival of Words - one of the UK's largest literary festivals. Vanessa is former Chair of Sheffield's Culture Consortium and currently leading a UKRI bid for the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the City to provide important data to help understand and to aid recovery of Covid-19 on Sheffield's Creative Ecology.

Sarah Tulip

Digital Director for EY across the North
Sarah is the Digital Director for EY across the North, she helps fast growth businesses build solutions, strategies and visions they need to take them on the next stage of their journey. She is an award-winning strategic leader with over 15 years’ experience of operations, innovation & change within Technology.

She has long been a champion of women and is passionate about individuality and equality for all, especially within our digital world. Keen to find a way to proactively grow, engage, develop, and retain diverse digital skills and community in Leeds, now the North, she co-founded WILD in 2018, an organisation aimed at encouraging women and under-represented groups into digital roles, the group now has over 1300 members across the North.

Steve turner

Director for Devolved Authorities at the Connected Places Catapult
Steve is Director for Devolved Authorities at the Connected Places Catapult. As a recognised leader in innovation and sustainability he has over 25 years of experience working in both the public and private sector. As Director at the Connected Places Catapult he works at the interface between local government and business, using his extensive knowledge and experience to help harness technology to deliver wider economic, social and environmental objectives. Prior to joining the Connected Places Catapult he was Digital Cities Leader for Arup where he delivered Smart City strategies for some of the largest developments in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, representing £billions of investment. As Head of Future Cities at Manchester City Council he set up Manchester’s widely admired Smart City innovation programmes, Triangulum and CityVerve securing over £50m of inward investment for the city, as well as establishing it as the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area.

Barry White

Chief Executive, Transport for the North
Barry has a wealth of experience in delivering major investment programmes. Prior to his appointment at Transport for the North, he served in the Army, led major projects for construction companies and latterly was Chief Executive at Scottish Futures Trust.
In his current role, he is responsible for transforming pan-Northern connectivity in order to improve productivity and drive economic growth. He is leading Transport for the North as England’s first Sub-national Transport Body, giving the North a strong, unified and determined voice on transport investment to benefit the region.

Michael Wood

Head of Health Economic Partnerships,  NHS Confederation
Michael Wood is the NHS Confederation's Head of Health Economic Partnerships.

Prior to this he was NHS local growth adviser, for some of this time working as deputy local growth consultant for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Before that, he was senior European policy manager at the NHS European Office for more than seven years. He has also worked at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and for a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels. 

As Head of Health Economic Partnerships, Michael is often approached by partner organisations such as local and combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships, universities, further education providers and the voluntary and community social enterprise sector, to discuss closer working with the NHS.

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