“Northern Powerhouse” Conference, February 2016



“Northern Powerhouse” Conference

Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th February 2016

@ Manchester Central (aka G-Mex), Manchester


2015 was an “Annus Horribilis” for the so-called “Northern Powerhouse”

There were sinkholes on the Mancunian Way, projects stalled, the frackers were once again told to “frack off!”, people from Newcastle to Manchester howled with laughter at the name, and a large area of the North flooded during the festive period, highlighting exactly why we need to move swiftly on from any notions of a “Northern Powerhouse”

“DevoManc” was laughed at and those in the political know formed the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign to attempt to bridge the democracy gap, campaigners even staging a pro-democracy rally in Manchester city centre

Many people have accused George Osborne of attempting to create a “Northern Poorhouse” and this accusation was fired during Jim McMahons’ Oldham election win speech as the Labour Party politician broke ranks from the “DevoManc” crew

Jeremy Corbyn, who smoothed in for the big Labour win in Oldham, has publicly expressed many doubts about the “Northern Powerhouse” project and Team Corbyn produced a Northern Future paper from a consultation with Northerners

The news for the “Northern Powerhouse” has not got much better in 2016 with news that a “Northern Powerhouse” office is being shut down in Sheffield and the office and jobs being transferred to London! So much for balancing the North-South divide!

So, what is the “Northern Powerhouse Conference” in Manchester in February 2016 all about ? Expect to see a lot of identikit Neo-liberal politicians, so-called “business leaders” and a few Gareth Cheeseman look-a-likes! There are also likely to be protests such as Redlines

At this event there are likely to be throwbacks talking about  yesteryears’ declining, polluting industries, but all eyes should be on green business

COP21 in Paris, December 2015, was the event that brought climate change, eco and green into the business sphere

The race for global countries to become #ZeroCarbon is the 21st centurys’ Space Race, the UK has to play catch-up and the North could be a big player, especially Manchester, the European City Of Science

The Northern floods of December 2015 brought an inconvenient truth to all Northern businesses who now need to factor the environment and ecology into business models, with climate change and flooding the big issues

With David Attenborough moving into corporate renewable energy solutions and Chris Packham calling for ecologists and economists to have greater parity, it could be time for the peoples green movement to take over the business scene


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