Westminster Business Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

Liverpool City Region’s Local Industrial Strategy - next steps for supporting business and R&D, infrastructure investment and delivering inclusive growth

TO BE PUBLISHED September 2020

***Full policy conference taking place online***

This conference will assess the development of the Liverpool City Region Local Industrial Strategy.

We expect discussion to focus how to achieve the aims of achieving inclusive and sustainable growth, delivery of  new infrastructure, and securing improvements to wellbeing.

Policymakers and stakeholders will examine latest developments and the way forward, looking at:

  • priorities for developing a long-term economic plan and targeting key areas such as:
    • local business development,
    • community support, and
    • improving opportunities for city residents;
  • promoting Liverpool’s research and development base as well as:
    • enhancing higher education facilities,
    • developing regional skills, and
    • protecting business and research institutions - including from potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • steps that can be taken to better address social challenges in the areas of:
    • health, wellbeing and poverty across Liverpool, and
    • improve city-wide infrastructure such as housing and transportation; and
  • accelerating cross-regional collaboration, and improving economic and business links with key stakeholders outside of Liverpool.

The context to the discussion:

  • The development of a Liverpool City Region Local Industrial Strategy, which will outline:
    • a vision for developing local economic and business potential,
    • new opportunities for city residents, and
    • measures to alleviate health and wellbeing challenges across the City Region;
  • The ongoing COVID-19 emergency and its impact on families and communities in Liverpool, as well as on economic growth;
  • Creation by Liverpool City Council of the Standing Action Group on Poverty and Life Chances which will focus on opportunities to address and reduce child poverty across Liverpool;
  • The Metro Mayor’s launch of a consultation on the future development of the Liverpool City Region, and its framework for a Spatial Development Strategy and the coordination of:
    • infrastructure planning,
    • land use, and
    • the provision of housing.
  • The Spring Budget, and its commitments to increase public R&D investment to £22bn a year by 2024-2025, as well as support major infrastructure projects like HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The discussion in detail:

  • Connectivity - in the Liverpool City Region and more widely, including rural areas - looking at;
    • what is needed from the transport elements of the Strategy to support regeneration and contribute to carbon reduction in new infrastructure development,
    • what government commitments to prioritising infrastructure investment on a number of major railways investments means for the Strategy, including:
      • the impact of transport projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail on Merseyside’s economy and boosting passenger and freight capacity, and
      • the potential of the Port of Liverpool’s Liverpool2 container terminal.
  • Housing - and the funding of schemes such as Foundations, set up by the city council with the aim of creating 10,000 affordable new homes over the next decade, with
    • the Council estimating that the City will need 27,000 new homes by 2030 to meet demand, and
    • Liverpool experiencing a shortage of affordable homes.
  • Business innovation and growth - including:
    • what more needs to be done to support new businesses and help them secure funding,
    • increasing collaboration between universities and businesses to support innovation and retain talent locally - with concerns about a focus on large scale ventures that excludes SMEs,
    • supporting businesses to increase the export of products and services, and
    • wider measures to improve productivity and create high value employment.
  • An inclusive economy - including strategic options for supporting the aims of:
    • maximising prosperity for individuals and communities across the region; and
    • addressing longstanding challenges - particularly in health, employment, skills, and connectivity.
  • Health and wellbeing - including:
    • the way forward for tackling inequalities across the region, particularly child poverty,
    • driving growth in high value sectors, such as maritime and the visitor economy, in order to create more employment,
    • mental health, and how to address the underlying factors leading to:
      • Liverpool having one of the highest rates of depression and anxiety in the country, according to a survey of patients registered with GPs, and
      • figures from Public Health England showing that one in every five registered patients in the Liverpool area suffers from mental health conditions.

The agenda:

  • The Liverpool City Region Local Industrial Strategy - priorities for supporting communities and business;
  • Positioning Liverpool at the forefront of R&D;
  • Developing Liverpool’s businesses and productivity - regional skills, collaboration with the HE sector, and moving forward from the impact of COVID on families, communities and the economy;
  • Wellbeing and social challenges throughout Liverpool - priorities for tackling poverty, inequality and poor mental health;
  • The relationship between the Isle of Man and Liverpool City Region - economic co-operation and promoting business links; and
  • Next steps for housing, major infrastructure projects and transport.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders.

We expect this one to be no different. Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and senior officials from government agencies, Westminster Parliamentarians, senior central government officials and other policymakers, together with local government and community groups, stakeholders involved in public health and wellbeing, infrastructure providers and their partners, consultancies, housing associations, local enterprise partnerships, finance and investment specialists, representatives of key business sectors including the creative industries, architects, law firms, specialist academics and charities, and reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates