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• New Archbishop of York backs online launch of Together Yorkshire project
• Policy event, hosted by the TUC, brings together CBI, IOD, Yorkshire universities, parliamentarians, and local leaders from across the political spectrum
• Conference aims to disprove Cameron’s claim that Yorkshire can’t work together, on 5 year anniversary of remark
• Three part conference takes place on Thursday 10th, 17th, and 24th September

The Together Yorkshire project, a new policy space designed to advance region wide coordination on issues from climate to tourism, will launch today (Thursday) via an online conference.

#TogetherYorkshire will see delegates from across business and public life, trade unions and the region’s political leaders meet to discuss the issues affecting the county. These issues will include achieving economic recovery, net zero carbon, and the future of the visitor economy and creative industries. They will seek to answer the question: ‘Collaboration - what should be done at a Yorkshire level?’ 

Almost five years to the day when then Prime Minister David Cameron commented ahead of speech in Leeds on devolution that "we just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn't realise they hated each other so much,” Yorkshire Leaders are getting together to try to prove Mr Cameron wrong.[1]

The event is hosted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Yorkshire & the Humber, and it will highlight the role of the Yorkshire Leaders Board, an organisation formed in 2018 the by the leaders of the 22 councils in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The concept of the Leaders Board is to provide cross party-political leadership across the county, develop a strong regional voice and build up relationships with MPs and Government to gain more powers. This has gathered pace since the election of South Yorkshire’s first metro Mayor, Dan Jarvis.

The event will be co-chaired by former MP John Grogan and Lord Kirkhope and a full report of the discussions will go to the next meeting of the Yorkshire Leaders Board in October.

The first session of the conference on the theme of Post Covid and Post Brexit Economic Recovery will take place virtually at 15.00 on Thursday 10 September. Regional leaders from the TUC, CBI, IOD, Yorkshire Universities and All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire and the Humber will all share a platform.

The second session on achieving a net zero carbon economy in Yorkshire and the Humber will take place at 15.00 on Thursday 17 September.

The third session on The Yorkshire visitor economy and cultural industries will take place at 15.00 on Thursday 24 September.

Commenting on the conference launch, John Grogan, joint coordinator of Together Yorkshire, said:

“The original ‘One Yorkshire’ plan was to ask the Government to devolve powers with an elected Mayor for the whole county. After the result of the 2019 General Election it became clear that this was not going to happen in this Parliament with up to four sub regional agreements possible. West Yorkshire are set to elect a mayor in 2021. There will still be a real benefit in cooperating together across the whole county such is the strength of the Yorkshire brand and identity.”

Lord Kirkhope, joint coordinator of Together Yorkshire, said:

“The aim is both to increase awareness of the work of the Yorkshire Leaders Board and to provide an opportunity for all those involved in relevant Yorkshire organisations to consider what more can be effectively done at a county level. There needs to be a strong collective voice for Yorkshire to balance the influence of Manchester in the Northern Powerhouse. We need the Mayors and Leaders of Yorkshire to work with each other”.

TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams said:

“The Yorkshire Leaders Board has the potential to be the focal point around which a whole range of effective partnerships can thrive.”

The newly installed Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, has also given his backing:

“I simply want to endorse the work Together Yorkshire are proposing. Yorkshire has so much home- grown talent we need to harness and develop as well as continuing to promote God’s own county to the nation and the world. The more we can work together to achieve these things, the more likely everyone across Yorkshire will benefit.”

Full details of the Together Yorkshire Seminar, (at which all are welcome) and jointing details can be found by visiting

[1] David Cameron, 11 September 2015,

Editors note

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 


John Grogan

TUC Press Office
Gareth Forest (Lewis)
0113 200 1075
07810 374976

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