Recap: Boris Johnson pledges to support North in speech at Great Northern Conference

Welcome to our live blog covering the Great Northern Conference, which is taking place virtually today.

By Jonathan Pritchard
Sunday, 6th December 2020, 1:12 pm

The conference is being opened at 9.30am by Sheffield City Region Dan Mayor, while Boris Johnson will also be making a speech. A number of discussions are taking place throughout the day and we will also have speeches from George Osborne and Grant Shapps. Follow the blog below and use the hashtag #onenorth on Twitter to get involved.

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Live updates as Boris Johnson talks to Great Northern Conference

Last updated: Thursday, 22 October, 2020, 11:27

  • Conference opens at 9.30am with speech from Dan Jarvis
  • Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps also set to speak at virtual event
  • George Osborne to make speech about his Northern Powerhouse vision
  • Get involved by using the hashtag #onenorth on Twitter

‘Credible and conscientious'

‘Credible and conscientious'

Dan Jarvis ends his speech by saying if we are to level up the country, then the moment to act is now.

George Osborne next up

Former Chancellor and chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership George Osborne is now making a speech.

The NPP is “more than just a slogan” he says.

Serious economic theory

“At the heart of the Northern Powerhouse is a serious economic theory, and the theory is that individually, the towns and cities and different counties of the North are great, they’ve got incredible histories they’ve got great strengths, but individually, they’re not big enough to make a big punch on the world stage and the global economy.”

George Osborne

Three areas to improve

Mr Osborne said there are three areas where we can improve to help support the North.

The first is devolution - he wants to see other voices heard during discussions.

The second is transport - people still need to get around.  Bringing the North together from the east to the west is important, as much as the north to the south.

The third is digital infrastructure - it’s important everyone has access to fast broadband.

The next session is a discussion on education and skills: levelling up, closing the gap and ensuring communities are set up to thrive in the future.

It’s being hosted by Danni Hewson from the business team at BBC 5Live. 

“The future is ours to shape,” she says.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe - chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Jamie Reid from Sellafield, which is sponsoring the session

Fiona Spellman - CEO of Shine Trust

Miranda Barker - CEO of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

Here’s a full preview so you know what to expect from throughout the day

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