24 March, 2021

Virtual Event


Headline Sponsors:











It is also being supported by:


There are a number of high profile opportunities available. To discuss these please email sales@thebusinessdesk.com





Invest North has an exceptional line-up of speakers for its first virtual conference which takes place 24 March, 2021.

The event opens with a keynote address from Rt Hon Grant Shapps – Secretary of State for Transport and the Minister with Cabinet responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse.

He will be followed by business leaders and policy makers that are shaping our future. From the world of policy making these include renowned economist Lord Jim O’Neill, widely credited as the architect of the Northern Powerhouse, plus four Northern metro-mayors – Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester; Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne; Ben Houchen, Tees Valley; and Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region. Delegates will also hear from Jake Berry MP, leader of the parliamentary Northern Research Group and Tom Riordan, CEO of Leeds City Council.

An international trade perspective is provided by John Boehner, the former speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Lakshmi Kaul, the UK head of the Confederation of Indian Industry, along with Katherine Richardson, Deputy Director UK Regions, Department of International Trade.

The business agenda during the day will be led by over 60 speakers and panellists, including:

Growth and investment

  • Matt Moulding, Founder, The Hut Group

  • Karen Smart, MD, Manchester Airport

  • Graeme Ferguson, Director, AMP Capital

  • Jon Geldart, Director General, IoD

  • Isobel Sheldon, CSO, Britishvolt

  • Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power chief executive

  • Jon Geldart, Director General, IoD

  • Beth Houghton, Partner, Palatine Private Equity

  • Stephen Church, North market leader, EY

  • Barry White, CEO, Transport for the North

  • Stephanie Corking, Director, Laws of Attraction

  • Warrick Dent, Director, LNER

Redefining Place

  • Tom Bloxham, Founder, Urban Splash

  • Richard Upton, CEO, U+I Plc

  • Simon McCabe, Scarborough Group

  • Professor Cathy Parker, Chair, Institute of Place Management

  • Michael Grace, Director, Turner & Townsend

  • Simon McCabe, Scarborough Group

  • Ken Norbury, MD, Mott MacDonald

  • Jo Lappin, CEO, Cumbria LEP

  • Roger Marsh, chair NP11 and Leeds City Region LEP

Innovation North

  • Tom Davies, CEO, Robiquity

  • Dr Martin Stow, Director, Nexus Leeds

  • Neil Murray, CEO, Impact Data Metrics

  • Paul Hallet, Co-Founder, Vet AI

  • Furqan Alamgir, Founder & CEO, Connexion

  • Helen Oldham, Founder, North Invest

  • Julian Wells, Director, Whitecap Consulting & Fintech North

  • Gary Woodhead, CEO & Co-Founder, CurveBlock

  • Stewart Haworth, Director of Debt Finance, OakNorth Bank

  • Grant Peggie, Director, NPIF

  • Shaz Sulaman, Founder, Solid Bond Capital

  • Professor George Lodorfos, Dean of Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University

  • Sarah Coll, Head of Procurement, Leeds Beckett University

Brand Up North

  • Collette Roche, COO, Manchester United

  • David Harland, CEO, Eden Project North

  • Sheona Southern, MD, Marketing Manchester

  • Claire McColgan, Director, Culture Liverpool;

  • James Mason, CEO, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive

  • Sacha Lord, Nightime Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester and Co-Founder of Warehouse Project & Parklife

  • Abigail Scott-Paul, Director of External Relations, Leeds 2023

  • Kate Shane, head of Blackpool, Merlin Entertainments

  • Hannah Plumb, Culture & Talent Director, The Alchemist

  • Iain Finlayson, Estate Director, Liverpool One

Net Zero North

  • Dr Annette Bramley, Director, N8 Research Partnership

  • Victoria Merton, Director, Peel Protos

  • Paula Widdowson, City of York Council’s environment and climate change executive member

  • Sophie Walker, Co-Founder Dsposal

  • Dame Sarah Storey, Sheffield City Region’s active travel commissioner

  • Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair

Diverse and Equal North

  • Craig Burton, Founder Friends of Dorothy

  • Vimla Appadoo, Co-Founder & Director of Culture Design – Honey Badger

  • Irene Afful, Professional Liverpool/Amentrine Coaching & Consultancy

  • Afiya Amesu , Co-Founder, She Leads for Legacy

Invest North will also see the release of a major new study, Chasing Unicorns, from Impact Data Metrics which will explore the challenges of the national levelling-up in the wake of the pandemic and examine the North’s performance in research and innovation, a key component of the UK Industrial Strategy.

The conference sponsors and exhibitors include In The Circle, Laws of Attraction, Leeds Business School, Mercia, Nexus, Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, OakNorth Bank, Robiquity, and Turner & Townsend.

It is also being supported by the Department for International Trade, NP11, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Transport for the North, Marketing Lancashire, Marketing Liverpool, Marketing Manchester, Sheffield City Region, Welcome to Yorkshire, IoD, Manchester Airports Group, Northern Power Women & Futures, Northern Asian Power List, UK Israel Business (North East), In the Circle, North Invest, and the 6% Club.

Organisations interested in exhibiting at the event can contact sales@thebusinessdesk.com for more information about how to have a presence at Invest North.