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Growth and Devolution in the West of England

Festival of Ideas

Watershed  |  Free

In this special event linked to our first conference on building flourishing regions, we look at what we need to do to make the West of England work effectively in the future. What improvements do we need to make to governance? How can we increase productivity and still retain the special nature of the place? We also announce the launch of Futures West – a new research institute for the West of England.

18.00-19.10: Launch of the new West of England Institute: Futures West and Future Festival

Chair: Nick Pearce, Director of the IPR, University of Bath

Damian Whittard – UWE

Jessica Lee, Director of Policy and Research, WECA

Anne Green, Professor of Regional Economic Development and Interim Co-Director of West Midlands REDI

Richard Bonner, Chair of Business West Strategic Group

Jack Newman – University of Bristol

Speakers include:

Richard Bonner has recently joined Atkins as its new market director for buildings and places. Richard Bonner has worked in the infrastructure sector for 30 years, most recently as a Northern Cities director for Arcadis.

Anne Green is professor of Regional Economic Development and Co-Director City-Region Economic Development Institute, University of Birmingham. She joined the University of Birmingham as Professor of Regional Economic Development in June 2017 and currently shares the job of Co-Director with Rebecca Riley. Her research interests span employment, non-employment, regional and local labour market issues, skills strategies, urban and rural development, migration and commuting, associated policy issues and evaluation.

Jessica Lee is Director of Strategy for the West of England Combined Authority, and her responsibilities include leading the development of the region’s strategy to deliver its priorities for sustainable economic growth. Jess has been a member of the leadership team since the Combined Authority’s inception in 2017. Previously she spent 13 years at HM Treasury in various policy roles including as Deputy Director for Growth and Productivity.

Jack Newman is a Research Fellow at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. His research asks how the reform of political institutions can lead to more effective public policy. With a focus on spatial inequality and English devolution, he has worked on projects on local policymaking (University of Surrey), the UK constitution (University of Cambridge), and productivity (University of Manchester).

Nick Pearce is Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at the University of Bath.

Damian Wittard is an Associate Professor in Economics, Programme Manager of the Wage and Employment Dynamics Project, and an Academic Assessor for the Government Economic Service.

In association with:

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