Civic leaders from Leeds and Manchester will stand shoulder to shoulder as they urge some of the world’s wealthiest investors to help create jobs in the North of England.
Tom Riordan, the CEO of Leeds city council and Sir Howard Bernstein, the CEO of Manchester City Council, will share the spotlight at the MIPIM international property conference in Cannes in the French Riviera, as they sell the North as a great place to do business and invest in infrastructure.
Mr Riordan said last night: “It’s vital that the North makes its voice heard in the UK and beyond.
“Leeds and Manchester are working together increasingly well, for example on rail franchising, to increase our collective influence on key economic decisions that affect business growth.”
Mr Riordan and Sir Howard are appearing tomorrow at an event in the Palais de Festivals in Cannes, which will also feature Sir Albert Bore, the leader of Birmingham City Council. The event will examine the need for leading cities to find ways of investing in infrastructure and development at a time of public spending cuts.
Sir Howard Bernstein said: “England’s core cities, the country’s largest cities outside London, have a strong record of working together as a powerful collective voice, making the case for our cities as engines for growth which are important to the nation’s economic success.
“We have also worked with Leeds and others on proposals to devolve control of the franchise for the Transpennine Express and Northern Rail networks from central government to a regional consortium of Greater Manchester, South and West Yorkshire authorities.”
One of the stars of today’s festivities at MIPIM, which is expected to attract 4,100 investors from 83 countries, will be Olympic cycling silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, from Otley, who is due to cycle into Cannes to promote investment opportunities in the Leeds city region.
Ms Armitstead said: “I am delighted to be supporting my home city. It is a fantastic place to live, work and do business.”