The Northern Agenda

⬆️ Preview of 'UP North: Innovative thinking from the North to unlock a more prosperous future for all'

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Episode notes

Anyone who listens to this podcast or reads the Northern Agenda newsletter won't need telling about the incredible strengths the North and its 15 million population boast. But elsewhere in the country, and down in the corridors of power in London, it seems there's still more to do to tell people who matter what our region can do to tackle the many challenges the country faces.

In the next few weeks a series of public events will be held to address just this issue, featuring speakers who've dedicated themselves to the issue of unlocking prosperity and closing regional divides. 'UP North: Innovative thinking from the North to unlock a more prosperous future for all', will be hosted by members of the N8 group of universities this autumn and winter.

So what are they hoping to achieve? Rob Parsons speaks to two of the senior figures behind this initiative, one is Dr Annette Bramley of the N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration between the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England. 

The other is Andy Haldane, Chief Executive Officer, a former chief economist at the Bank of England who's been at the heart of the Levelling Up agenda after being appointed in 2021 by Michael Gove to head up the taskforce dedicated to the issue. Born in Sunderland and educated in West Yorkshire, he's now chief executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, a think-tank committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges.

For more about the UP North events visit


Plus, Rob gives some sleep tips from Erling Haaland to father-to-be and Liverpool Echo political editor Liam Thorp, as they talk about Rishi Sunak forcing violent criminals to face their victims in the dock, and how the Conservatives are playing fast and loose with the facts on fly-tipping.


The Northern Agenda is a Laudable production for Reach. It is presented by Rob Parsons, and produced by Daniel J. McLaughlin.

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