More speakers coming soon!
Rt Hon George Osborne CH
Rt Hon George Osborne CHRead more
George Osborne is a partner at Robey Warshaw LLP, a boutique investment bank. Prior to this, he was the editor-in-chief of London’s Evening Standard newspaper and was the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2010 – 2016 and First Secretary of State from 2015 – 2016.
George is also the President of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a not-for-profit organisation he established with business and civic leaders to promote economic development in the North of England. He is a visiting professor at Stanford University. He was an adviser to the BlackRock Investment Institute from 2017 – 2021 and he is the Chair of Lingotto Investment Management LLP. The Right Honourable George Osborne CH received the Companion of Honour from Her Majesty the Queen in 2016.
Graham RobbRead more
Graham Robb is a long-standing North East Conservative. He has stood for Parliament on two occasions fighting Peter Mandelson, in 1992 in Hartlepool and as our by-election candidate for Sedgefield when Tony Blair resigned in 2007. He is a columnist in the Journal newspaper in Newcastle and spent the first years of his professional life as a broadcaster on both independent radio and BBC Radio in the North East. Graham has a weekly podcast, the Northern Business Podcast (previously known as Business Unmuted), which features people who run businesses, economists and commentators. He is hosting today in a personal capacity, in his professional life he runs a PR firm based in Darlington.
Ed TaylorRead more
Ed Taylor is Director of Government and Public Affairs at CityFibre which is now the UK’s second largest full-fibre network with plans to invest over £4bn to deliver future-proof gigabit connectivity to over 8m UK homes by 2025, and it will be a vital component in 5G delivery. Ed has held various positions in the Conservative Party and as a special advisor, and he has also worked in communications consultancy and for Ofcom.
John Stevenson MP
Katherine FletcherRead more
Born and raised in Manchester’s Wythenshawe, Katherine went to Altrincham Girls Grammar going on to University of Nottingham with a Biology BSc Hons. Degree.
Since being elected as the MP for South Ribble in December 2019, Katherine has spoken out for both the Northern Powerhouse & Levelling up. Since 2019 She has served on the Science & technology select committee and is currently the PPS to Oliver Dowden the Deputy Prime Minister and CDL.
Previously she has advocated for, our planet as PPS to COP26 president Alok Sharma, global trade as a Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Mozambique, for Infrastructure investment as Minister for Roads & Regions in DfT, and equality as Minister For Women.
Before becoming an MP Katherine was running her own small manufacturing business in the Northwest, during which time she helped with the setup of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
Previous to that her Career was in business Operations, change and IT delivery projects. Outside work she’s a naturalist who’s lived and worked in Africa as a Field Guide (Safari Ranger), and for her sins is also a Manchester United season ticket holder.
Martin McKerveyRead more
Martin studied law at the University of Sheffield. He had a career in the legal profession spanning more than 30 years, including as a partner at international law firms Nabarro and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP. He retired from practice in April 2018.
Martin works for AESSEAL plc, the Rotherham headquartered global manufacturing company specialising in the manufacture of mechanical seals and support systems. AESSEAL has reached a major environmental milestone by achieving net zero carbon emissions. The company was ranked by the Department of Education as the number one apprentice employer in the manufacturing and engineering sectors in the UK for 2022/23.
Martin is a former board member of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Transport for the North Partnership Board.
Martin presently holds a number of Board, NED and Trustee positions across the business, charity, education and voluntary sectors in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, including at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, St Luke’s Hospice, The Herbert Hughes Memorial Trust and The Burton Street Foundation.
He is Chair of the Sheffield Property Association, the only formally constituted property association in the country outside of London.
Martin is also a Non-Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Northern Regional Assembly of the British Chambers of Commerce, which comprises the 16 Chambers of Commerce in the North of England.
Martin was the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire for 2021/22.
Andrew JonesRead more
Andrew is chartered Town Planner, urban strategy advisor and geographer. He is a senior director with Atkins, focussing on urban regeneration, regional growth, and strategic spatial planning. His project and professional work is wide-ranging, advising clients from the public and private sectors in strategic visioning, planning policy and development management.
He specialises in urban and estate strategies, major regeneration, sport-led development, and development management for complex schemes. He brings a multi-disciplinary perspective; blending placemaking, sustainability, environmental & urban resilience with economic strategy and understanding of local and national political drivers to focus on unlocking potential from built and natural environment assets. Addressing regional inequality and the UK economic rebalancing agenda, he is a commissioner of the independent UK2070 Commission. He also sits on NLA’s Planning Expert Panel.
Sir Jake Berry
Sir Jake BerryRead more
Sir Jake Berry MP is the Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen. Before his time in Parliament, he grew up in Liverpool and studied law at Sheffield University. Afterwards he trained as a solicitor and worked for several different legal practices across the North of England.
Sir Jake first won his seat in the 2010 election, flipping a seat that had been held by the Labour party for nearly two decades. In 2010, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing and Local Government. Jake later worked in the Number 10 Policy Unit. He then became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Greg Hands from 2015 to 2017 and during this period. Throughout 2017, he worked as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Theresa May appointed Sir Jake as the Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth and he held the position from 2019 to 2020. Following Boris Johnson accession to Prime Minister, Jake continued in this role and now attended Cabinet. After leaving Government in 2020, Jake set up the Northern Research Group with current chairman John Stevenson. In 2022, following the Conservative Party leadership election, Prime Minister Liz Truss appointed Jake to her government as Chairman of the Conservative Party. Since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, Jake has returned to the backbenches and continues to work on bringing investment into the North of England.
Mark GrantRead more
Mark is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor with a strong background in large-scale construction projects. He began his career in construction, working for a private quantity surveying practice gaining experience on projects in the civil, residential, health care, prison, airport, education and arts sectors before joining SSE in 2012. Over the last eleven years working in renewables he has been the Head of Procurement & Commercial for onshore, before moving into and Heading the Procurement & Commercial team working on all phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn. When all three phases of the project are completed in 2026 Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, powering up to 6 million UK households.
Bruce HeppenstallRead more
Bruce is Plant Director at Drax Power Station responsible for all site activities at the world’s largest biomass power station and Europe’s largest single site renewable generator. Drax Power Station is located near Selby in North Yorkshire and is rated at 4GW consisting of 4 power units that have been converted to run on sustainable biomass and 2 coal units that close in September 2022.
Since joining the business in November 2019, Bruce has been focussed on ensuring improving safety and aligning the cost base of the plant to ensure long term sustainability beyond the closure of the coal units. Prior to moving to Drax, Bruce was based in Newcastle for 8 years managing manufacturing businesses in the oil and gas supply chain with a focus on high technology subsea products.
In his early career, Bruce qualified as an electrical and mechanical engineering at Aston University and started his career working in large power stations in various engineering and management positions leading to him managing the world's most advanced gas fired power plant in South Wales in 2002. In 2005 he had an opportunity to move into managing the business operations, trading over
£100M of gas and power per year and latterly into developing and operating new solar, wind and gas
fired power plants across Europe and California with a portfolio of assets worth over $1.5Bn.
Bruce has always had a passion for developing business strategy as a means to building world class and strongly performing teams and using this to change organisational culture.
Carol TansleyRead more
Carol Tansley was appointed Vice President, X-energy UK New Build Projects in September 2022. In this role, she oversees all X-energy’s activities towards establishing the Xe-100 as the preeminent High Temperature Gas Reactor technology (HTGR) in the United Kingdom. Prior to X-energy, Carol served as the Operational Readiness Control Center Director for the highly successful Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s start-up of the Barakah Nuclear Plants in the UAE. She was also the Nawah Energy Company Director of Strategic Programs. Prior to this, she served as a Senior Director for PwC in the UK and UAE as well as working at Accenture, delivering some of the UK’s largest public sector change programmes. She recently completed an MSc. in Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford.
Peter GibsonRead more
Peter Gibson was born in Middlesbrough and grew up in Saltburn, the son of a shipwright and a midwife. Peter attended a local comprehensive school in the North East of England and Chaired the Young Conservatives in Langbaurgh. Peter went on to read Law at Newcastle University and practised law for 20 years, building a regional high street law firm.
Peter stood as the parliamentary candidate for Redcar in 2017. During the 2019 general election Peter won the seat of Darlington in Co. Durham, becoming its first Conservative Member of Parliament since 1992.
In November 2020 Peter was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Party Chairman. Following the September 2021 reshuffle Peter became PPS to the Department for International Trade, continuing in this role until July 2022. In October 2022, Peter wascappointed to a new position as PPS to the Cabinet Office.
Jason GoodingRead more
Jason was chief executive at Carlisle City Council for 12 years until local government reorganisation this year He joined the council as an Executive Director in 2003. He previously worked for the Metropolitan Police as a Scientific Officer working on the statistical analysis of performance data and researching the impact of stop and search. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Constabulary to head the Management Information Unit and subsequently became Director of Corporate Services in 2000 – leaving to join the City Council in 2003.
Ben HouchenRead more
Ben Houchen is the Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley. He was first elected in 2017 and was re-elected in 2021 with 73% of the vote. He holds a number of other roles, including as Vice Chairman of Transport for the North. He was also responsible for establishing the first Mayoral Development Corporation (South Tees Development Corporation - Teesworks) outside of London, second only to the Olympic Park – which was set up for the 2012 Olympics. The Development Corporation is responsible for the regeneration of the largest brownfield site in western Europe, which has attracted billions of pounds in foreign direct investment and is creating thousands of manufacturing jobs in industries like offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon, capture and storage. He has also helped to deliver national policies to help level up the country, including being one of the architects of the UK’s Freeport policy. As a result, he was able to establish the UK’s first and largest freeport – the Teesside Freeport.
Dehenna Davison MP
Dehenna Davison MPRead more
Dehenna Davison is the Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, having been elected at the 2019 General Election, and appointed Minister for Levelling Up since September 2022. In October 2021, Dehenna commented publicly that she was bisexual, becoming the first openly bisexual female Conservative MP.
Before entering Government, Dehenna campaigned to reform sentencing for single-punch killings in memory of her father, who died from a one-punch assault when she was young. She was also a co-host of the Sunday morning show The Political Correction on GB News and has consistently used her social media channels to call out online abuse.
Chris Green MP
Chris Green MPRead more
Chris worked in Manchester in the Mass Spectrometry industry for nearly twenty years, before being elected as the Member of Parliament for Bolton West in 2015.
Chris has previously been elected on to the Science and Technology Select Committee, Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Home Affairs Select Committee. He currently sits on the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the Backbench Business Select Committee. He has also served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Transport, the Department for Education and to the Leader of the House of Lords. He is currently Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Medical Research and Healthcare Infrastructure.
His priorities are to ensure that Bolton West receives a fair share of the investment, prosperity and jobs growth, ensuring that our economy is rebalanced between the North and South and between industrial and service sectors. He sits on the executive committee of the Northern Research Group. In July 2022, Green was elected to the ruling executive of the 1922 Committee.
Dr Jennifer Harris
Dr Jennifer HarrisRead more
Dr Jennifer Harris is the Director of Research Policy at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), focussed on making the UK a world-leading destination for pharmaceutical R&D, to support the discovery, research and development of new medicines and vaccines. Previously, Jennifer worked at the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care on the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, where she led on evidence generation and patient involvement. She has a PhD in cancer research from the University of Cambridge and a BSc Hons in Biomedical Sciences.
Professor Rowan Pritchard Jones
Professor Rowan Pritchard JonesRead more
Professor Rowan Pritchard Jones is a Consultant Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Teaching Hospital Trust. He is an Honorary Clinical Professor at Edge Hill University as well as an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Liverpool. Rowan’s main clinical interests are skin cancer and complex abdominal reconstruction. He has national roles, leading in research for the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon (BAPRAS) as well as leading in skin cancer for the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) and plastic and hand surgery for NIHR North West Coast.
Rowan was appointed as Executive Medical Director to the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System in July 2022. Rowan is committed to system wide improvements for patients and is determined to break down the silos of working that have been a barrier to truly joined up healthcare across social, primary, secondary and tertiary care. Rowan is also a committed collaborator with a passion for innovative solutions in a post-pandemic NHS.
Hannah DaviesRead more
Hannah Davies is Executive Director of Health Equity North, an institute bringing together leading health inequalities researchers in the North of England. Since 2018 she has spearheaded the Northern Health Science Alliance’s health inequalities work and is co-author on most of its reports including Child of the North, A Year of Covid19 in the North and The Parallel Pandemic. She is a former award-winning journalist and research associate at Newcastle University
Nick Fletcher MP
Nick Fletcher MPRead more
Born and raised in Armthorpe, Doncaster, he went to the local comprehensive school. Leaving at 16, he, like many in his generation, became an apprentice. His apprenticeship as an electrician was served at the plant in Doncaster where he worked on railway engines and cabins for use in London.
The year before he married, he was made redundant. After three months looking in vain for a job, he took the plunge and went self-employed as an electrician. It was a wise decision.
His business grew over the years. It is now based in Harworth and employs 20+ staff. He and his wife live in Bawtry with their two children (now both grown up).
Nick has been interested in politics for many years. He became chairman of Doncaster Conservatives and then was selected as the candidate for Don Valley constituency in the 2019 General Election. It was a Labour held seat with a majority of 5,169 and had always had a Labour Member of Parliament. He was elected with a majority of 3,630.
Since then, he has served as a backbench MP and has launched numerous campaigns including a new hospital, a rail link to the airport, and to develop the brownfield site around the airport. Nick is passionate about education for our children and has set up a ‘Role Models’ programme to set them on the right path. He regularly speaks at local schools.
He is a member of the Education Select Committee and has been elected Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Issues affecting Men and Boys.
The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP
The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MPRead more
Gillian Keegan was appointed Secretary of State for Education on 25 October 2022. She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Africa) at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office from 7 September 2022 to 25 October 2022.
Prior to this Gillian served as Minister of State (Minister for Care and Mental Health) at the Department of Health and Social Care - September 2021 to September 2022 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills) at the Department for Education - February 2020 to September 2021.
Gillian was elected as Conservative MP for Chichester on 8 June 2017.
Dan FellRead more
Dan Fell is the CEO of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is a membership organisation that supports and represents South Yorkshire’s business community. The organisation was recognised as the 2019 Chamber of the Year, and Runner Up in 2022. The Chamber typically works with c3,000 businesses a year and also supports c20,000 young people in relation to careers and work readiness activities. Doncaster Chamber is currently leading South Yorkshire’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) after delivering a successful trailblazer in 2022; the South Yorkshire LSIP has focused on digital skills.
In addition to his leadership role at the Chamber, Dan is Chairman of Cast Theatre - an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, a Governor of DN Colleges Group - which includes Doncaster and North Lindsey Colleges, and a Director of Finance for Enterprise - a small, not for dividend, micro-lender.
Up until recently, Dan was a member of the South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and, during his tenure, co-chaired the region’s Education, Skills and Employability Board; this board has oversight of the region’s devolved Adult Education Budget and plays a key role within the region’s skills ecosystem.
He was a founding member of Doncaster’s University Technical College (UTC) and led a long campaign to open a UTC in Doncaster; the free school is now one of the country’s most successful UTCs and is twofold over-subscribed.
Dan recently led Doncaster’s successful City Status campaign. He has a Master’s Degree in Politics from the University of Sheffield.
Miriam CatesRead more
Member of Parliament for Penistone and Stocksbridge, Member of the House of Commons Education Committee
Miriam Cates was elected as the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge in 2019, the first Conservative to represent this part of South Yorkshire since 1931. She entered politics through community volunteering, and previously served as a parish councillor for her home village on the outskirts of Sheffield. Miriam is passionate about education, having previously worked as a secondary school science teacher, and serves on the Education Select Committee. Her work covers a wide range of topics from early years and childcare through to universities and skills. As well as being outspoken on strengthening families and communities, Miriam is also an advocate for manufacturing, apprenticeships, and vocational training.
Simon FellRead more
Simon was elected as the Member of Parliament for Barrow & Furness in 2019.
Prior to entering Parliament, Simon worked as a director at a not-for-profit company which prevented fraud and other financial crime, and protected vulnerable people from falling victim to fraud and scams. Before this, he worked in telecoms, helped run two charities, and also ran his own communications business for a number of years. Until his election, Simon was Chair of the Barrow and District Credit Union for two years. In Parliament, Simon is a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Chair of the All Party Group on Cyber Security, and also Chair of the APPG on Aquaculture. He lives in Ulverston, has three young children, and is married to Pippa.
Ian MuldowneyRead more
Ian is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BAE Systems - Air, a role he has served in since September 2020. Ian joined BAE systems in October 1995 as an apprentice after completing his A-Levels. In 2005 he was awarded the Bea Beamont award, as well as an MSc in Systems Engineering from the Royal Military College of Science (now the Defence Academy at Shrivenham). In January 2018 he was appointed Air Sector Engineering Director, leading c6500 engineers across the sector. Ian currently serves on the MBDA board and the UK Government’s Defence Industrial Liaison Board. He was previously Chairman of Prismatic Ltd, Board member of Reaction Engines Ltd, and Chairman of International Systems Engineering (ISE) in KSA. He is married with three children.
Rt Hon Tom Tugendhat MP
Rt Hon Tom Tugendhat MPRead more
Tom Tugendhat has been the MP for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling since 2015. He was elected Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in July 2017, which he chaired until September 2022 when he was appointed as Security Minister. Prior to this, Tom served in the Army and worked for the Foreign Office.
Professor Trevor Taylor
Professor Trevor TaylorRead more
Trevor Taylor is Director of the Defence, Industries & Society Programme at RUSI where he has worked since 2009. Most of his recent publications are available on open access on the RUSI website. He recently served as the special adviser to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into military shipbuilding in Scotland and also works regularly on a consultancy basis for the Institute of Security Governance based at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is Emeritus Professor of Cranfield University at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham where he led the defence management department for 12 years. He has more than 30 years’ experience of working with government and business in the defence and security area as an academic and consultant. In contrasting roles, he has been an assessor in the national research evaluation exercises, Chairman of the British International Studies Association, and an elected Council Member of the former Defence Manufacturers Association. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Make UK Defence, an association particularly serving small and medium sized entities. From 1990 to the end of 1993 he headed the International Security programme at Chatham House. He was educated at the London School of Economics (BSc (Econ) and PhD) and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania (MA).
Mary Robinson MP
Mary Robinson MPRead more
Mary Robinson was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Cheadle. Mary was the first female, representing the Conservative Party, to be elected as a Greater Manchester MP since its creation in 1974. Mary was re-elected in both the 2017 and 2019 General Elections.
Previously, Mary served as a Borough Councillor for six-years and was also Chairman of the local Conservative Association.
In Parliament, Mary sits on the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee. Mary also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing and is working with her Parliamentary colleagues to establish an Office of the Whistleblower.
Mary also serves as the co-chair for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Child of the North.
Anne Longfield CBE
Anne Longfield CBERead more
Anne has spent the last three decades working to improve the life chances of children, particularly the most vulnerable. From March 2015 to February 2021, she was Children’s Commissioner for England.
She previously led a national children’s charity and has also worked on the delivery of the Sure Start programme in the Cabinet Office.
As Children’s Commissioner, Anne spent six years championing the rights and interests of children with those in power who make decisions about children’s lives, acting as children’s ‘eyes and ears’ in the corridors of power in Whitehall and Westminster.
Anne was Special Advisor to the Lords Public Services Committee on their inquiry into public services and vulnerable children.
Anne is a passionate champion for children, influencing and shaping the national debate and policy agenda for children and their families. She spent many years campaigning for better childcare, often at a time when many saw the issue as obscure or niche.
Mike CrowhurstRead more
Mike leads Public First’s Levelling Up practice, working with clients across the public and private sectors on how they interact with the government’s agenda and promote growth across the country. He joined the firm after four years of working as a Special Adviser in government, most recently at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where he focused on policy making in culture, heritage, technology and telecoms. This followed spells at the Cabinet Office, where he worked on government reform and delivery, and at Number 10, where he led on all aspects of education policy. Before joining government, Mike was Director of Education at New Schools Network, overseeing support for free schools across the country, and trained as a teacher in Birmingham through the Teach First programme.
Jason McCartney MP
Jason McCartney MPRead more
Jason is a proud Yorkshireman who lives in Honley in the heart of his Colne Valley constituency. He was first elected as the MP for Colne Valley in 2010.
Throughout his time in Parliament Jason has served on the Transport Select Committee, DCMS Select Committee, as PPS to the Attorney General and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, he is now part of the British NATO Parliamentary delegation, sitting on the Political Committee.
Jason Chairs a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups including as Co-Chair of the influential Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Group. Jason began his working life as an Officer in the RAF serving in Las Vegas, Turkey, Gibraltar, Germany, Cyprus and Iraq. He is Honorary President of the Royal Air Force Association in Huddersfield and a member of the Royal British Legion. After leaving the RAF Jason completed Broadcast Journalism at Post Grad level and freelanced with BBC Radio in Leeds and Middlesbrough. He then got his dream job with ITV Yorkshire in Leeds where he became the weekend presenter for Calendar News & Sport. On leaving ITV Jason lectured in Broadcast Journalism at Leeds Trinity and Leeds Beckett Universities ahead of the 2010 General Election.
Huw Merriman MP
Huw Merriman MPRead more
Huw Merriman was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Transport on 27 October 2022. He has been the Member of Parliament for the Bexhill and Battle constituency since 2015.
Before entering Parliament, Huw studied Law at the University of Durham, and qualified as a barrister. He then worked as an in-house financial lawyer and a managing director, and also served as a councillor on Wealden District Council between 2007 and 2015.
Before his ministerial career, Huw sat on the Transport Select Committee, and served as its Chair between 2020 and 2022. Huw also worked as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions and at HM Treasury.
Richard RobinsonRead more
Richard Robinson is the Chief Executive Officer of Atkin’s UK and Europe business, leading a team of over 10,000 design, engineering and project management professionals working across multiple sectors including transportation, water, property, aerospace, defence and security.
A Chartered Chemical Engineer, Richard has over 20 years’ experience in heavy industry and engineering, and has overseen transformational levels of business growth throughout his career.
Prior to joining Atkins in 2109, he was Chief Operating Officer at HS2 and has also held senior positions at AECOM, Heathrow Express, and Anglo American.
Richard is passionate about leading change across the industry, recognising the need to improve performance through data and technology-driven collaboration.
In June 2022, Richard was appointed deputy Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council - which works in partnership with the Government to support UK construction in building greater efficiency, skills and growth – responsible for accelerating the sector’s transition to net zero and boosting productivity through digital adoption.
Richard is an ICE Fellow, a Sainsbury Management Fellow, and has an MBA from HEC Paris and NYU Stern School of Business, graduating on the Dean’s list.
Andy ClarkeRead more
Andy Clarke is the Head of Corporate Affairs at Manchester Airport and a member of their senior leadership team, where he is responsible for ensuring the corporate affairs function meets the goals of the airport. His main focus areas include operational resilience, decarbonisation and HS2/NPR. He also chairs their mental health staff network and represents Manchester Airports Group at the CBI’s North West Regional Council and the Manchester Business Sounding Board. Prior to this, he worked for Asda throughout the pandemic and in his spare time is a member of the Board of the Fragile X Society.
Sir Robert Goodwill MP
Sir Robert Goodwill MPRead more
Sir Robert was born in North Yorkshire and was educated in York. He went to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. He is a farmer on the 250 acre family farm at Terrington near Malton where the family have farmed since 1850.
Between 1999 and 2004 Robert was one of Yorkshire’s 3 Conservative Members of the European Parliament. During his tenure Robert was Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs as well as spokesman on Environmental Policy.
A staunch Eurosceptic, Robert's commitment to restore vital powers back to this country has been reinforced by his spell in Brussels.
Robert has leant his support to local people's campaigns in the Scarborough and Whitby area. Most notably pressing for the upgrading of the A64 which currently limits business and tourism development on the East Coast and campaigning to improve local health services.
Robert was first elected in May 2005, winning the seat from Labour. He served 18 months as a Member of the Transport Select Committee. In 2006, Robert was promoted to the front bench, serving in the Opposition Whips’ office having departmental responsibilities for DEFRA business.
In July 2007 Robert was promoted again to the post of Shadow Roads Minister in the transport team.
Robert was re-elected for a second term at the General Election 2010 and increased his majority from 1,247 to 8,130 achieving a swing of 6.9% from Labour to Conservative.
In May 2010 Robert was appointed by the Prime Minister David Cameron as an Assistant Government Whip and shortly after this was promoted to Pairing Whip in the Government Whips' Office.
In October 2013 Robert was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Transport, and in December 2015 Robert was promoted to a Minister of State. in July 2016 The Prime Minister Theresa May moved Robert to the Home Office as a Minister of State for Immigration. After snap election in May 2017, Robert retained his seat and has been re-elected as MP for Scarborough and Whitby for the fourth time. Robert was appointed as a Minister of State for Education in June 2017.
In May 2022 Sir Robert Goodwill was elected as chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. He is also a Member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, a Member of the Liaison Committee (Commons) and Chair of the Bus and Coach APPG.
Trudy Harrison MP
Trudy Harrison MPRead more
Trudy Harrison was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 7 September 2022.
She was previously Minister of State at the Department for Transport from 7 July 2022 to September 2022 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) from 17 September 2021 to July 2022.
She was elected Conservative MP for Copeland in 2017.
Following her election in 2017, Trudy served on the House of Commons European Statutory Instruments Committee and the Education Committee. She served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at DfT, Ministry for Defence and Department for Education. In December 2019, Trudy was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.
Prior to her career in politics, Trudy worked at Sellafield for 5 years as a technical clerk before setting up and running a childcare business. Following a career break, Trudy was employed by Copeland Borough Council, first as a Locality Officer and then as Community Regeneration Officer. Trudy left Copeland Borough Council in 2013 to work as a Programme Manager for investors specialising in renewable energy and sustainable community projects.
Trudy was educated at the Wyndham School in Egremont. She holds a foundation degree in Sustainable Communities from the University of Salford.
Martin CurtoisRead more
In 2012, Martin was appointed Head of Communications at resource management leader Veolia, which has a turnover of over £2bn and 13,000 employees providing waste, water and energy services. In 2016, he led the Veolia team handling communications for the safe UK treatment of Syrian chemicals receiving the IPR and CIA reputation management awards.
Appointed External Affairs Director in 2018, Martin has a broad stakeholder engagement remit across public affairs and external comms. He helped lead the 2018 Business in the Community Waste to Wealth Summit at Veolia’s Southwark recycling facility, represented Veolia between 2020-21 on the Plastics Pact and is an advocate of the company's commitment to ecological transformation.
Leo MercerRead more
Leo works on a variety of UK net-zero policy areas, including decarbonisation of the land use sector, carbon pricing, just transition, and the voluntary carbon market. Leo has a background in environmental science and geography and completed a PhD in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 2020.
His thesis explored the role of carbon forestry, registered under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, as a land development option for Māori landowners. Subsequent to this, he was employed as a policy analyst at the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries on a work programme to develop an agricultural emissions pricing mechanism to support New Zealand farmers and growers to reduce emissions in line with statutory obligations.
Paul Howell MP
Paul Howell MPRead more
Born and bred in County Durham, Paul was first elected as the Conservative MP for Sedgefield in 2019. He is an accountant by trade and his career prior to Westminster was as a Financial Director and Supply Chain Director in multiple international manufacturing businesses based in the northeast of England as well as working for short spells in Edinburgh and Spain.
Since being elected he has served on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee for 2 years before transferring to the Transport Select Committee last year. He has been a PPS in Defra and is currently a PPS in the Treasury team.
His local imperatives are supporting Left Behind Neighbourhoods through his APPG and local businesses, particularly the thriving Northeast Technology Park (NETPark) and the Northeast Space sector as well as a strong focus on the 10,000 jobs in the industrial estate in Newton Aycliffe. He wants improved public transport links including a passenger train station in Ferryhill and supports improvements in educational opportunities to give people the opportunities they deserve.
The panel will centre around industry and innovation focusing specifically on how to support seeding and development of science and technology clusters throughout the north of England.
Jim BrewinRead more
Jim became Chief Director for UK & Ireland in January 2020. Jim has oversight of all UK operations, including sales, maintenance and manufacturing. This incorporates the safe day-to-day running of 286 trains, the management of over 3,000 UK employees at 13 sites, and manufacturing at our factory in County Durham. He also has a pivotal role in the development and delivery of green and digital innovations for the UK rail sector.
Prior to this appointment, Jim has worked across the business in a 15-year period. He has undertaken a variety of senior global and regional roles such as UK Projects Director, where he led the team that delivered over 100 train sets to market over a 12-month period and Head of Business Development securing major orders for ScotRail, Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Hull Trains.
Amy HarhoffRead more
Amy is Corporate Director of Regeneration and Growth for Durham County Council, one of the largest local authorities in the UK. She has previously held senior roles in local government in two large metropolitan authorities in the West Midlands and Sheffield City Region. Passionate about communities and our potential for growth, Amy has also held senior roles for Transport for the North, Sheffield City Region and Transport for Greater Manchester.
Amy has a breadth of experience in delivering major investments, strategy and development, she is an active member of SOLACE and was named as Planning Magazines ‘Ones to Watch’ and is a previous winner of the prestigious McKibben Research Prize for Freight on logistics.
She is passionate about public service, place making, local wealth building and is committed to working for equality of opportunity for all.
Ian CrostonRead more
Ian is the General Manager of Coherent in Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham manufacturing compound semiconductor products used in defence and consumer electronic applications. Ian has more than 25 years experience in manufacturing, product development and innovation roles in medium and large enterprises in Europe, the US and the Far East across a variety of sectors including telecoms, consumer and industrial electronics. He graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc in Materials Science.