Webinar: Levelling Up in Leeds and West Yorkshire - A cross-sector perspective

Please apply now to secure your spot on this live webinar. Sign up as usual using your WIG account, instructions to join confirming your place will be sent out a week ahead of the session.

As the UK starts to tackle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that now, more than ever, the government needs to deliver on its ‘levelling up ambition’. The government has committed to spread opportunity equally across the country by focusing on improving living standards, investing in our essential public services and increasing access to opportunities so people can thrive no matter where they live.

The Whitehall & Industry Group and EY are pleased to invite you to hear from a panel made up of industry experts and local government, who will share insights into what the levelling up agenda means in practice for businesses and communities in the Leeds and West Yorkshire region.

Join us live to:

  • Learn how organisations are looking to bounce back quickly from the pandemic
  • Understand the impact of COVID-19 on younger people, and the importance of social mobility in advancing economic recovery
  • Gain insight into how the sectors are working together to address these challenges
  • Tom Riordan

    Chief Executive

    Leeds City Council

    Tom has been Chief Executive of Leeds City Council since 2010. During this time, Tom has overseen £300 million of efficiencies across the organisation and a significant transformation of the city, which is halfway through a £10 billion investment pipeline.  Plans are set to double the size and economic impact of the city centre through regeneration of the South Bank, one of the largest city centre regeneration and growth initiatives in Europe. Tom's top priority is for the city's growth to be inclusive with a key ambition of reducing health inequalities and improving the health of the poorest the fastest. Our innovative, low carbon district heating network is helping to reduce fuel poverty by supplying lower cost heat to nearly 2,000 council homes.  Tom has led the team that helped forge an innovative health and social care partnership, is leading work on a pioneering shared NHS/council patient care record and continues to drive the Age Friendly Leeds campaign through building on the assets and strengths of the communities in Leeds. Tom oversaw the transformation of the council's Children's Services resulting in an outstanding rating in 2018 achieved through a strategy based on Restorative Practice and Leeds has bucked the trend with regards to child obesity rates, which have declined significantly since 2009. Tom remains focused on building on the significant progress made to improve the lives of children and young people in the city and leads the campaign to make Leeds a child-friendly city, which has seen over 750 businesses, organisations and individuals sign-up to become Child-Friendly Leeds ambassadors. In 2018, Tom jointly led the regional bid that secured the new Channel 4 headquarters in Leeds bringing over 300 new jobs and unlocking growth in Yorkshire and the North East. Tom is leading the city's participation in the Boston MIT global programme which will drive innovation and enterprise across the region, and played a crucial role in securing and running the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.  Tom recently played a key role on the NHS Test and Trace Programme as the lead for outbreak planning, bringing a local perspective to ensure that the work was community focused and effective.  Tom has come full-circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford University, a Civil Service fast-stream career in international environmental policy and then leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward. For his commitment to the region, Tom was awarded Yorkshire Man of the Year 2017 and most recently CBE for services to local government in the 2020 New Year's Honours. He is also a trustee on the Centre for Cities Board and the council's mental health champion. Under Tom's leadership, Leeds City Council won the MJ's Council of the Year award in 2016 and was named Digital Council of the Year in the 2019 Digital Leaders 100 awards.

  • Sinéad Rocks

    Managing Director, Nations and Regions

    Channel 4

    Sinéad Rocks is Channel 4’s first Managing Director for Nations and Regions and is the lead executive at the broadcaster’s new National HQ in Leeds. Her role is to deliver the organisation’s ‘4 All the UK’ strategy – ensuring that Channel 4 better serves the whole of the UK and the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its history.


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