Business Leaders and Local Government to Outline Vision for Town Centres in the Northern Powerhouse

On the 22nd April in Leeds City Centre, the Association of Town & City Management will bring together a range of interests to discuss the role of the urban centre in the Northern Powerhouse agenda. The meeting follows the success of latest stage of the HS2 Hybrid Bill in Parliament and the Budget announcement of HS3 linking Manchester and Leeds.

The event, which will be held at the Leeds College of Music, will discuss the Chancellor’s vision for the Northern Powerhouse and the role town centres should play within this. Representatives from the private and public sectors from Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Sunderland and even Glasgow, are expected to attend. The National Association of Local Councils, the Royal Town and Planning Institute, national retailers and parliamentarians are also expected to be there.

ATCM Public Policy Manager, Ojay McDonald, who is based near Manchester, believes that this event could challenge the dominant view that the Northern Powerhouse is only about specific high skilled sectors and better transport links. He said:

“Very little has been said so far about urban centres in relation to the Northern Powerhouse. But those centres are where most of our businesses, universities and start-ups co-locate. They are destinations from which our major transport links will begin and end. If the vision is to create one economy, then they have to be part of a comprehensive strategy that ties into other issues, like planning, transport, productivity, and fiscal devolution.”

Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of Leeds Business Improvement District said:

“Leeds Business Improvement District is delighted to be hosting the ATCM conference on ‘the role of town and City centres in the Northern Powerhouse.’  Leeds is one of the key cities in the north of the UK, and the city is growing across many business sectors.  Leeds is pivotal to the economic vibrancy of the region and to the North.  We warmly welcome the other towns and cities who are attending this event to Leeds and Leeds BID are pleased to be part of the debate.”

Recommendations from the event for the Chancellor, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Scotland’s First Minister will be published later this year.

For futher details regarding the meeting please contact ojay.mcdonald@atcm.org