Pro Vice-Chancellor leads panel discussion at major UK business conference

2nd March 2017

Lucy Winskell OBE, of Northumbria University, joined senior politicians and business leaders at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Annual Conference as part of a panel to discuss Britain’s future outside of the EU.

In light of Brexit, the BCC Annual Conference 2017 is an opportunity for attendees to raise and discuss some of the most prominent issues affecting the economy and society. This year’s conference took place on 28 February at the QEII Conference Centre, Westminster, in London.

Lucy, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Employability and Partnerships at Northumbria, joined MPs George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Manchester Mayoral Candidate Andy Burnham alongside West Midlands Conservative Candidate Andy Street, to discuss ‘Growing Business in the Regions and Nations.’

The panel also included Vincent De Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy and Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine. BCC Director General Adam Marshall chaired the panel and keynote speakers included John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer; Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy and Ciaran Quilty, SMB (small and medium-sized businesses) director at Facebook for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Lucy has held a number of non-executive roles regionally, nationally and internationally and was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to the North East economy and Higher Education.

She is Chairman of the Board of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, and Vice President of the Board of the British Chamber of Commerce.  She leads Northumbria University’s relations with business, local government and cultural organisations. She was also High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear 2015-16.

“In years gone by, regional economic policy was an issue debated in quiet corners by a few huddled policy experts,” said Lucy. “The 2017 BCC Annual Conference will be a clear signal that has changed. For far too long, the UK has been heavily reliant on the success of London and the South East. However, that is like going into a World Cup match with some of your best players left sitting on the sidelines.

“I believe that my own region of the North East has a crucial role to play in addressing some of the country’s biggest economic challenges. Devolution in areas like Manchester and Birmingham can help unlock this. In the North East, we have one devolution deal in Tees Valley and hope to have another in the north of our region soon. Our Chamber has been supportive of such deals because our members believe that people who understand the local economic conditions and have the freedom to move away from generalised national solutions can make decisions over policy and investments much more effectively.”

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