Join the Revolution
Downtown launched a major initiative to devolve greater autonomy to city regions from Westminster in a bid to improve economic growth and activity in the North of England, and begin to close the unhealthy and growing ‘North-South’ divide. Our inaugural ‘Northern Revolution’ conference at Media City attracted the chief executives of Manchester and Leeds city Councils, and the chief executive of Liverpool Vision. Other guests included Baroness Susan Williams, Geoff Muirhead and over 150 delegates.
Downtown’s messages from the event included support for the controversial HS2 project and a call for metro mayors for Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.
As Downtown established an ‘enterprise club’ at the City of Liverpool College, we promoted apprenticeships to our membership across the region, and called on the education and training agenda to be more radical, getting young people ‘work ready’ and raising awareness among students of the opportunities for starting a business.
We also got passionate about ‘sales’, reminding businesses that this is what makes them tick! The ‘sell more stuff’ event with Andy Bounds and Michael Finnigan was one of the highlights of a year that saw Downtown host over 150 events.
In Leeds Downtown became a firm supporter of the ‘Trolley Bus’ scheme as the city’s regeneration continued its momentum with the opening of retail development Trinity. Downtown hosted its first ‘Women in Business’ awards in association with the Women’s Organisation; and the inaugural ‘Mancoolian’ awards dinner.
Lord Andrew Adonis was the political ‘star turn’ of the year, with appearances in Manchester and Lancashire; he also kindly hosted a delegation of Downtown members at the House of Lords. The other huge impact speaker of the year was property entrepreneur Andrew Rosenfeld who wowed the ‘It’s Liverpool – the Business Conference’ in November.
David Wade Smith was appointed as chairman of Downtown Liverpool in Business, whilst Mark Asquith joined the Downtown team as Head of Marketing & Communications.