Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver keynote speech at Great Northern Conference

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The Prime Minister is to deliver the keynote speech at a major corporate event which will act as a sounding board for the North of England.

Boris Johnson will outline his vision for the North of England at the Great Northern Conference on Thursday, which will also include debates about the biggest challenges facing leaders in the fields of business, education and local government as we emerge from the pandemic and face the post-Brexit world.

Mr Johnson, who is also a former Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary, became Prime Minister last year, and led his party to victory at the General Election of 2019, in which the Conservatives secured an 80 seat majority.

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Thursday's event follows the stunning success of the inaugural Great Northern Conference in 2019, which was staged in Leeds and attracted speakers from the worlds of religion, commerce, regeneration and education.

Prime Minister Boris JohnsonPrime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will also be among the keynote speakers at the conference.

The event will feature a speech from Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region and Henri Murison, the Director of The Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership and JPIMedia are joining forces again to continue the debate on how best to grow the economy and develop opportunities in a sustainable and meaningful way across the North of England.

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The conference will be held online in response to growing Government concerns about the spread of Covid-19. Thursday's event will outline some of the major challenges and opportunities facing the North of England.

The Prime Minister Boris JohnsonThe Prime Minister Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The event will feature a discussion about the economic importance of education and skills, which is sponsored by Sellafield Ltd. The conference will also include three concurrent morning breakout sessions.

One of these sessions will analyse the importance of a cultural strategy, and another, sponsored by Arcadis, will focus on the need to reinvigorate our cities and towns in the post COVID world. The other session, which has the title “Creating a health agenda for the North”, is sponsored by Northern Health Science Alliance.

Later in the day, a debate sponsored by Virgin Money will consider how policy makers can support small businesses as they recover from the impact of Covid-19.

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The event will include a debate about energy and sustainable infrastructure, which is sponsored by Radioactive Waste Management.

Grant ShappsGrant Shapps
Grant Shapps

A spokesman for Radioactive Waste Management said: “Delivering a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) will be one of the largest environmental protection projects ever undertaken in the UK and the first project on this scale to use a community consent-based approach to siting. This could have truly transformational potential for host communities.

The spokesman added: “Nuclear technology has been a part of our lives for over 60 years and is used in power generation, industry, medicine and defence. Like all industrial processes, these activities have created waste that must be managed safely.

“There is international consensus that the best option for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste is geological disposal, deep underground.

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The spokesman continued: “Radioactive Waste Management (RWM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is tasked with finding a suitable site and a willing host community and then constructing and operating a GDF.

"RWM will become part of the host community and will create supply chain and other partnerships that will support the socio-economic success of the community and the wider region.

“The design, construction and operation of a GDF in the UK is a multi-billion pound infrastructure programme offering huge benefits to the host community.

The spokesman added: “A GDF will create and support thousands of highly-skilled jobs and boost local businesses for over a century of operation and construction and help drive local economic growth and prosperity.

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“RWM will work closely with individuals, businesses and communities who want to engage in the process to find out if a GDF is right for their area. There are few projects in the UK like this with the scale and potential to act as a positive catalyst for transforming the socio-economic vitality of a community, so we hope that you’ll join us at the Great Northern Powerhouse conference to hear more about the project and get involved.”

To watch the Great Northern Conference please register here: