Speaking about her appointment, Marianne said: "City deals and austerity over the last 10 years have left towns falling further behind. Genuine investment is needed across the country to make the "levelling up" rhetoric a reality. I am looking forward to advising the Centre for Towns on future projects."
Mark Gregory, Chief Economist at EY (UK) and member of the UK Government’s Trade Advisory Group on Investment, will Chair the newly established Centre for Towns’ Advisory Board. Mark said he was “very excited about working with both the team and members of the Advisory Board to identify practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the economic and social outlook for our towns.”
Alongside Mark, Lisa Nandy (MP, Wigan), Professor Will Jennings (Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Southampton) and Ian Warren (data analyst and political consultant) will take lead roles on the Board, making the case for towns as the UK navigates the economic and political fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The towns and people of the UK have dealt with considerable adversity this year and delivering on promises of levelling-up presents significant challenges. The Advisory Board, comprised of academics, analysts and activists, will support the Centre For Towns, an independent organisation, explore and identify the best approaches for driving sustainable improvements across the whole of the UK.
Other members of the Advisory Board who will be working with Dr Sensier to best engage the corporate sector in addressing the unique challenges facing our towns, include: Kirsty Devlin (Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Codes), Professor Rob Ford (Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester), Professor Donna Hall (Honorary Professor of Politics, University of Manchester), Professor Cathy Parker (Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise, Manchester Metropolitan University) and David Skelton (Global policy strategy at Google).