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Finding True North is the next step forward for the Northern Powerhouse agenda placing identity, culture, collaboration, and innovation at its heart.
The Government’s Northern Powerhouse concept has unlocked the door to prosperity outside of the South-East, and given the keys to regional leaders. A key test of this political move’s success will be how it translates into real change for the people who live there. Progress can not be judged solely on higher living standards or the number of jobs created. We must ensure that greater freedoms for citizens aren’t just economic, but instead that this once in a generation opportunity enables communities to rebuild and society to improve.
Successful cities and regions are also powerhouses for new ideas, technological innovation and cultural creativity. Finding True North will foster debate as to how we re-awaken and nurture these capacities in our northern cities. We’ll be exploring whether there is an underpinning sense of identity and connection around which the North can build not only economic prosperity, but forge a cultural and intellectual renaissance.
The North is filled with tremendous potential, backed by a rich history of cultural diversity and intellectual curiosity. When taken together, the region is home to a number of clear and powerful identities. Newly devolved powers should enable leaders to make use of these distinct identities, defining a local region’s priorities and needs, and fostering the pride that will rejuvenate rather than deter. The North has a proud history of creativity, entrepreneurship, independence and industry. Enabling collaboration between its businesses, sectors, communities and public services, and fostering constructive and positive dialogue between newly invigorated and empowered local leaders and those who they are elected to serve.
Northern cities have for the most part moved to embrace the opportunities extended to them to in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill. There is widespread agreement that ‘city deals’ will enable regeneration and improvement, attracting inward investment necessary for creating a successful future for all its 22 million inhabitants. Without greater effort to collaborate and foster unity, the region would be unable to escape historic under-performance of its economy and the Government’s ambition for a Northern Powerhouse will be left unfulfilled.
ResPublica’s trail-blazing report Devo Max – Devo Manc spearheaded the debate about city devolution, arguing that Northern cities and regions developing broader autonomy would be a pre-condition for renewal. Finding True North will platform this discussion as the North embarks on an exciting age of opportunity.
Welcome & keynotes: 10.15
What are the problems of the North? 11.30
— Lunch —
Breakout Sessions: 13.45 – 15.45
Finding True North: 16.00 – 17.00
Elliott is responsible for Events and Communications at ResPublica. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc in Politics and International Relations, having won the Peter G Richards...
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