Conferences and Expos Connecting You

State of the Economy Conference 2019

Event Information:

Venue: Sports Direct, Shirebrook, Derbyshire

Date: Thursday, 14 November 2019

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Available To: Members and Non Members

Member Price: £25.00+VAT

Non-Member Price: £75.00+VAT

  • Understand the strategic vision for the East Midlands
  • Engage with leading economic analysts, political representatives, prominent regional business-leaders
  • An opportunity to interact with a substantial business audience regarding the challenges that the region's economy now faces post-Brexit
  • Learn how proposed improvements to infrastructure will contribute significantly towards regional competitiveness
  • An opportunity to influence, and convey compelling messages from the business community to key decision-makers

Taking place at the UK headquarters of major retailer Sports Direct (located off J29 of the M1), this major event brings together business leaders from across the East Midlands at the only conference that focuses on the economic performance and prospects for the region.

One year on from the Westminster launch of the Chamber’s manifesto, Delivering a Great Future, this event will examine the progress made so far, and the strategic considerations needed to transform this vision into reality. This focuses both on the means at the region’s disposal, and its ability to capitalise on the opportunities available as part of the bigger picture. This includes likeminded stakeholders working together to harness the potential of the newly-created East Midlands Development Corporation.

Through a series of keynote speakers and expert panels, we will examine the latest intelligence and projections for the regional and national economy through the prism of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

This conference comes at a time when regional performance has seen a marked decline against a backdrop of a prolonged economic and investment uncertainty, and profound political instability.

We will consider how bold proposals for regional infrastructure will enhance the competitiveness of East Midlands businesses, as well as the political and economic levers that can be used to support them.

This conference seeks to send Westminster some compelling messages about what still needs to be done surrounding infrastructure priorities, SME support, and the implications of Brexit on behalf of the regional business community in order to sustain the region's long-term economic vitality.



Justin Kirkham – Director, Staff & Training, Sports Direct (host)
Scott Knowles - Chief Executive, East Midlands Chamber



Context / Purpose of Today’s Event
Chris Hobson – Compere and Director of Policy & External Affairs, East Midlands Chamber



Economic Prognosis 
Rosie Smith – East Midlands Agent, Bank of England


The Road Ahead / Harnessing the Region’s Potential

Midlands Connect - Maria Machancoses, Programme Director


Supporting our SMEs – The View from Westminster
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP (Loughborough)


Panel Discussion 1:
The Key 'asks' to boost business competitiveness

Kevin Harris – Partner, RSM; & Chair, Leicester(shire) Enterprise Partnership

Jillian Thomas – Managing Director, Future Life Wealth Management

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE – Chief Operating Officer, Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Dawn Edwards – Owner, Challenge Consulting & President, East Midlands Chamber

Elizabeth Fagan – Chair, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership




The Bigger Picture: Optimising the Potential of the East Midlands Development Corporation
Speaker - TBC


HS2 as a Catalyst for Economic Growth
Keynote Speaker: Allan Cook CBE - Chair, HS2


Panel Discussion 2:
The Big Opportunity: Realising the Vision 

Midlands Engine - Rachel Greenwood, Programme Director

Michelle Faulkner-Craven – Partner, Geldards & Vice-Chair, Midlands Rail Forum

East Midlands Airport (to be confirmed)

Mark Deakin – Director, Turner & Townsend

Abellio (to be confirmed)


Concluding Remarks and Close
Chris Hobson – Director of Policy and External Affairs, East Midlands Chamber

Exhibition-stand space is also available - for more information, please contact the Policy Team on 01246 212533 or

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