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Post-COVID recovery and business support to help unlock economic growth across the North of England was the focus of a meeting of business and civic leaders at the University of Chester.

The University’s Business School hosted a Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) meeting at Queen’s Park early this month, with senior representatives including: Henri Murison, the Partnership’s Director who chaired the discussion; Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for the City of Chester; Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council; David Hamilton from Barclays Eagle Lab, and Professor Kurt Allman, Dean of Chester Business School.

They discussed the challenges faced by businesses and support needed to recover from COVID, particularly around enterprises that would benefit from incubation support in and around the City.  


Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for the City of Chester and Henri Murison, the Partnership Director
Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for the City of Chester and Henri Murison, the Partnership Director
The NPP was launched in September 2016 as the leading voice of business and civic leaders across the North. It is chaired by the former Chancellor, George Osborne, who backed the Northern Powerhouse as a concept and who coined the phrase itself in a keynote speech in June 2014.

The December roundtable also highlighted how Universities play a key part in supporting businesses and rebuilding the economy, and looked at a recent Barclays report on Creating Tech Ecosystems to Stimulate Local Economies.

Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for the City of Chester said:

“The roundtable was a great opportunity to discuss how best we can support tech ecosystems and help them recover from the impact of the pandemic. I welcome the findings of Barclay’s recent report, ‘Creating Tech Ecosytems to Stimulate Local Economies’, which highlights how the technology sector can be a catalyst for growth here in Chester and across the North West. The University of Chester is playing a vital role in this agenda, and I thank them for their crucial work.” 

The report focuses on the technology sector and supporting high growth tech companies as catalysts for new products and markets, increased co-operation, healthy competition and upskilling the workforce.

Professor Allman said: “We were delighted to share how the University of Chester can be a support structure and partner in assisting future growth.”

The University is currently engaged with a variety of local and regional stakeholders in a range of activities designed to support businesses to reskill and upskill their current workforce. For further information about how the University might be able to support your business needs, please see our Business Support Services webpages.

For more information on how Barclays are supporting the revitalisation of local economies please visit the Barclays website.

For further details on the NPP, please visit

More information on Chester Business School is also available on the University of Chester website.

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