Company chiefs are looking forward to hearing from mayoral candidates ahead of the forthcoming Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) election.

Image of Business leaders prepare to quiz mayoral candidates

The CBI North West and Irwin Mitchell LLP sponsored hustings will take place at The Midland Hotel on 28 March, offering business leaders an opportunity to hear from six candidates about their plans to accelerate economic growth across the region.

With productivity in the North West 33% lower than that in London, closing this gap should be a key priority for the new elected mayor. A recent CBI report, Unlocking Regional Growth, found that productivity is the main reason why living standards and economic growth differ so much across the UK.

Damian Waters, CBI North West Director, said:

“This is a hugely interesting and important time for businesses, who will want know how the candidates will increase productivity and prosperity across the region.

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“So they’ll be looking for an understanding of what companies need to keep investing, hiring and fuelling regional economic growth amid uncertain times.

“Transport improvements are critical to combating congestion and reducing journey times. Therefore Firms will be keen to hear how a new mayor would support progress on improving connections and projects such as Manchester’s North West Quadrant and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

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“Our research found that educational attainment is the number one driver of productivity differences across the UK. And company leaders say access to a broader pool of skills and labour is vital for the majority of firms, small, medium and large.”

Notes to Editors:

The hustings will take place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on March 28, from 5.30-7pm. Journalists wishing to attend the hustings should rsvp to press.office@cbi.org.uk

Confirmed candidates include:

Andy Burnham – Labour

Sean Anstee – Conservative

Shneur Odze – UKIP

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Jane Brophy – Liberal Democrats

Stephen Morris – English Democrat

Will Patterson – Green Party

We will be hosting other mayoral hustings across the UK:

  • Liverpool – 4 April
  • Tees Valley – 23 March

This article was originally published on cbi. Read the original article.

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