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Spotlight falls on ways of fostering business growth

Posted on 12 June 2013

A lunchtime panel debate, held as part of a major Economics, Entrepreneurship and Equality Day, will focus on what needs to be done to support business and grow the economy.

Part of the York Festival of Ideas and open to all, the debate will be led by Jonathan Portes, the Director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Together with panelists including Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council and Kevin Brennan, Chief Executive of Quorn Foods, he will argue that a different kind of national response is required to reinvigorate the economy.

Delivered in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the free Economics, Entrepreneurship and Equality Day on Friday, 14 June, held at the superb Ron Cooke Hub, University of York, is aimed at businesses, charities, voluntary organisations, policy-makers and the general public.

At the lunchtime debate, Jonathan Portes, formerly Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office, will discuss ways of fostering business growth with Ed Cox, IPPR North and Head of the Northern Economic Futures Commission, Nigel Foster, Board member of Leeds and Partners, as well as Kersten England and Kevin Brennan. The session will be chaired by Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Jonathan Portes argued in a recent blog post for NIESR that the Government’s approach to monetary policy has actually hindered economic recovery and that further public investment is urgently required.

Kersten England will put forward the view that 21st century civic leadership is more important than ever to create an infrastructure to support local wealth creation. She will point to York’s strong heritage in this area but argue that cities like York need to work in functional economic geographies to consolidate their position both in national and global markets.

Kevin Brennan will argue that the Government must do more to support big business. In particular, he will argue that the Government needs to be much bolder to avoid a deepening of an already apparent North/South economic divide impacting on innovation.

The panel debate will be held at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York, on Friday, 14 June at 1.30pm. For further information and tickets visit

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Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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