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Day One. After BREXIT? The Future of Urban and Regional Development in the North and the UK to 2030

Northumbria University




Many local and regional economies are in turmoil; the Core cities have been doing well but many second and third tier towns and districts are still suffering from de-industrialisation and poor investment, whilst BREXIT uncertainty is now taking its toll.  Arguments about the deepening North- South Divide and the de-coupling of the North from London continue to worry many commentators. A new round of Local Industrial Strategies is promising a re-balancing of the United Kingdom economy and a focus on investment in new growth sectors in the years ahead. The replacement of European funding with a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund raises new issues of focus and priorities and details are still sparse. Globalisation is proceeding but many feel alienated by the Global and want to see a stronger local economy focus on the Low Carbon and circular green environmental economy, whilst many others feel that Skills and Infrastructure investment should be given the highest priority in the period ahead and BREXIT will bring major skills and labour shortages.

The activities of Local Enterprise Partnerships have been re-assessed and re-evaluated in 2018 and new Combined Authorities are appearing in the North alongside new Northern agencies, like Transport for the North, based in Manchester. A Council for the North has been mooted by some as a way forward in terms of giving stronger direction to The Northern Powerhouse. This seminar will hear from the new Director of the Northern Powerhouse Dr Nichola Headlam.

The West Midlands Engine, Western Powerhouse and Cambridge – Oxford Corridor and the GLA are all competing for power and resources in England and the complexities of infrastructure debates with the new Infrastructure Authority, and the impact on priorities for northern projects, is of crucial importance. There are also wider agendas of health and social policy, of environment and climate change, and Energy, Housing, and Culture, which need to be strengthened.

Throughout 2018 Newcastle Business School has made a major investment in public policy and public services management and new appointments to add to existing capacity on city and regional development and entrepreneurship.

About the Day  

This one-day seminar is an opportunity to look at the emerging issues after the BREXIT votes with key presentations from the new team in Newcastle Business School which is focused on how to respond to the challenges which BREXIT is creating. We are looking ahead to 2030 and the next decade for urban and regional development with the public, private and voluntary sectors in the region. The workshop is an opportunity to bring together senior policymakers, leading politicians, and chief executives to discuss the existing wicked issues and problems ahead. With volatile environments and changing policy developments there is a need for better research and development practice. Our intention is to bring people together from key sectors including health, housing and transport with local and central government departments and key agencies in the voluntary sector and new colleagues from Brussels and Amsterdam.

The day is designed as a free-thinking seminar to raise issues and discuss research and policy trends in a global, European and national context with key senior policy-makers, politicians and invited senior personnel who can help the university position itself and its leading research Faculties.

The discussions will contribute to a reassessment of public policy and public services provision at Northumbria Business School where a new MSc in Public Services Leadership in September 2019 is being introduced. NBS is hosting three new research centres- Institute for Local Government (ILG), Regional Technology and Entrepreneurship through INCITE, and the Living Lab will all focus on the future of the public services globally, nationally and within the region.


  • 09.00:
    • Opening Plenary: Professor John Wilson, Dean and PVC, Newcastle Business School: Building the Civic University of the Future.
    • Rebalancing the UK and Delivering for the North: What Next? Guest SPEAKER; Dr Nicola Headlam, Head of Northern Powerhouse, Cities and Local Growth Unit, a partnership between BEIS and MHCLG.
    • The Changing Context of the North East and the Northern Powerhouse; Governance and Economy: Critical issues: Professors Joyce Liddle and Professor John Shutt, Newcastle Business School (NBS).  
  • 10.30: Tea and Coffee.
  • 11.00:
    • The impact of BREXIT on the North of England: the UK in a changing Europe. Professor Ignazio Cabras NBS.
    • From National to Local Industrial Strategies: the future for Innovation in the North, Professor David Charles, INCITE research centre, NBS.
    • Innovation and Small Firms and the North East; preparing for the ISBE conference, November 2019 a joint project with Newcastle University Business School and ISBE Dr. Michele Rusk Associate Professor, NBS.
  • 13.00: Lunch and networking.
  • 14.00:
    • BREXIT, devolution and the impact on the Rural North of England and the Anglo-Scottish Border; Professor Keith Shaw, Professor of Politics, Faculty of Art, Design and Social Sciences.
    • Developing Tourism and the Cultural and Creative Industries in the North, Professor Tom Mordue, NBS.
    • Developing Public Sector Entrepreneurship in Universities: What can we learn from Europe, Professor James Cunningham, NBS.
  • 15.15: Tea and Coffee
  • 15.30:
    • Preparing for Public sector Change: How the Living Lab helps across boundaries and disciplines. Professor Rob Wilson, NBS
    • Working across boundaries: Health and Well-being and the NHS plan/opportunities for the North. Dr Debbie Porteous, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
  • 16.00:
    • A decade of local government research: reflections on ILG and the next steps for the ILG at Northumbria University, Professor John Mawson, Durham University and Professor John Blenkinsop, NBS.
    • The Future of Public Services and the new Public services management postgraduate degree. The PAC Conference September 2019. Dr. Lorraine Johnston and Dr. Ian Elliott Senior Lecturers
  • 16.45: Conclusions and Future Research: Professor John Wilson, Dean and PVC, NBS.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential - click here to register


Event Details

Northumbria University
The Great Hall
Sutherland Building
Newcastle upon Tyne


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