Industrial Strategy Council: Addressing Regional Productivity Disparities

Join us at this panel discussion to hear from members of the Industrial Strategy Council on how to address regional productivity disparities.

The Industrial Strategy Council is an independent non-statutory advisory group established in November 2018. It is tasked with providing impartial and expert evaluation of the government’s progress in delivering the aims of the Industrial Strategy. Its membership is comprised of leading men and women from business, academia and civil society.

The Council’s latest publication will examine the nature and causes of differences in economic performance across UK regions.   

  • Andy Haldane

    Chief Economist, Bank of England and Chair, Industrial Strategy Council

    Andrew G Haldane is the Chief Economist at the Bank of England. He is a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and Chair of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Council. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at University of Nottingham, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books.  Andrew is the founder and trustee of ‘Pro Bono Economics’, a charity which brokers economists into charitable projects, a trustee of National Numeracy and Patron of the charities Reach and Speakers for Schools.

  • Christine Gaskell

    Chair, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Member, Industrial Strategy Council

    Christine Gaskell has been actively involved in promoting learning and skills and in 2012 she was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to training and apprenticeships. Christine has spent most of her career in the motor industry and from 1995 until 2012 she was a Member of the Board at Bentley Motors Limited with responsibility for 4,000 employees worldwide. She was also Chair of the Rolls Royce and Bentley Pension Fund. Under Christine, Bentley invested significantly in improving the skills and capability of its workforce, winning regional and national recognition for its programmes. Christine was appointed as the first Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership in March 2011. She is Vice Chair of NP11 and sat on the Local Enterprise Partnership Review Committee. She also sits on the Board of Transport for the North. Amongst her other appointments, Christine holds several other non-executive roles and is also Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire.

  • Emma Bridgewater

    Founder, Emma Bridgewater and Member, Industrial Strategy Council

    Emma Bridgewater is a household name recognised for her popular kitchen pottery. Based in Stoke on Trent the company employs over 350 workers in a dedicated factory and warehouse. Having resisted outsourcing to low wage countries Emma is deeply committed to raising the real commercial value of work carried out in Britain. Emma was educated at Oxford High School and at London University where she read English Literature. She has honorary doctorates from Keele and Staffordshire University and in 2015 received a CBE for services to British Industry. Emma was chairman of the English Heritage Foundation and is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

  • Rotha Johnston

    Commissioner, Belfast Harbour Commission and Member, Industrial Strategy Council

    Rotha Johnston has had a career spanning both the private and public sectors. A Queen’s University Belfast graduate and post-graduate, Rotha has had a career in the textile, the economic development and the food sectors. She currently has various investment interests primarily in the property sector. Rotha is currently Chair of Northern Ireland Screen, the lead agency for the screen industry in Northern Ireland. In addition, Rotha holds several non-executive positions including Director of Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, Member of KPMG NI Advisory Board, QUBIS and a Belfast Harbour Commissioner. Previously she was a shareholder and director of Variety Foods Ltd, a food service company supplying the Irish market; Head of Marketing in Moygashel Textiles, part of Lamont Holdings and Business Development Director, LEDU. Rotha was also a BBC Trustee, Pro Chancellor and Chair of Senate at Queen’s University Belfast and Deputy Chair of Invest Northern Ireland. In 2006 she was awarded the CBE in recognition of her contribution to industry in Northern Ireland and in 2016 was made a Dame.

  • Dr Robert Zymek

    Lecturer in Economics, University of Edinburgh

    Robert obtained his MSc and PhD in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He completed his undergraduate studies at King's College, University of Cambridge. His research interests are International Economics and Macroeconomics. His work to date explores the interplay between international goods trade and international capital flows, and the role of country risk in shaping the patterns of both.



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