Themes for the day
Manchester and life after Brexit
We asses the implications for the Manchester economy of a UK post Brexit. Automotive, aerospace, financial services and big pharma may be the sectors at risk of a hard exit, but what will be the impact on the Manchester economy? What steps can the city take to prepare for any difficulties to come?
Casual Dining: Will casual dining become a casualty in the years ahead?
We look at the sectors driving growth in the region including tech (and FinTech), tourism, hotels, food and drink and of course the financial and professional service sector. At the conference, we ask 'Will casual dining become a casualty in the years ahead as a result of over expansion?' and 'Will a Michelin star shine over Manchester soon?'
Employment Trends: What’s next for jobs in the Manchester economy?
According to the latest UK data, the unemployment rate has fallen by 65,000 to 1.36 million - the lowest for more than 40 years. Despite sluggish rates of growth in the economy, the UK created 426,000 new jobs last year. The jobs market is tightening and recruitment difficulties are increasing.
Healthcare: What is the future for Greater Manchester's NHS in a fast-expanding economy?
Healthcare in Greater Manchester is the largest area of spend in the region's budget. Big progress has been made in the rationalisation of facilities in the region, achieving significant economies of scale. Great steps have been made towards the integration of first line healthcare, welfare and housing. The sector faces the challenges of budget structure, staff shortages and an ever-growing demand for services. We will be asking what the future of healthcare is in a fast-expanding economy.
Commercial Real Estate: Too many cranes - can we really absorb the commercial real estate expansion?
Cranes on the skyline abound, the Beetham Tower, once the highest building in the city, will soon be dwarfed by new build. Old familiar buildings are demolished as new central towers appear. Is the crane density a measure of over-extension? Our expert panels will look at current trends and answer whether Manchester can really cope with the levels of commercial real estate expansion.
Inclusive Growth: What progress has been made in reducing poverty and deprivation?
At last year's conference, we touched on the levels of poverty and deprivation across the region. We were pretty stunned by the difficulties faced in many regions in terms of food deprivation and child poverty. Children in poorer communities start out in life with lower prospects and less access to opportunities. What progress is being made in our region to prevent this, and how will that affect our region's economy?
Pollution: Is it time to start charging for congestion?
An integrated public transport system that is affordable and reliable is one of the key objectives in the Greater Manchester Strategy. Reducing congestion, improving air quality, offering world connectivity - both physically and digitally, is the foundation of the plan. We look at the challenges and achievements of Transport for Greater Manchester, the next stop of the Metrolink system, smart ticketing, bus franchising and the next moves in the integrated plans for the North of England. We ask the question, if pollution targets are to be achieved, is it time to start charging for congestion?
Housing: Has Manchester got it covered?
Mayor Andy Burnham is committed to putting an end to homelessness by 2020 and the region is committed to building over 10,000 new homes every year as part of the national building programme. At this year's conference, we will be reviewing the performance of the Greater Manchester economy over the year and ask what progress has been made in putting an end to homelessness.
Manchester is in the process of updating the Industrial Strategy for the city region. The focus is very much on the five pillars of growth: people, places, ideas, infrastructure and business environments. Four great challenges have been identified: AI and Robotics; an ageing population; transport mobility and clean growth. The pressure is on to minimise pollution, whilst enhancing the growth objective. The Mayor would like to advance the zero emissions carbon challenge by at least a decade in the years ahead.