Sir Richard Leese to address Kendal dinner

07 Feb 2017

The man who led the resurgence of Manchester as one of the UK’s most dynamic cities will be guest speaker at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce/South Lakeland District Council’s annual partners’ dinner.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council for more than 20 years, is to address the prestigious black-tie event at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal on March 17.

His appearance is a coup for the Chamber as Sir Richard is arguably the most influential politician in UK local government outside London.

He led the regeneration of Manchester after an IRA bomb destroyed much of the city centre in 1996 – his efforts earned him a knighthood in the 2006.

And while he is a Labour politician, he carved a reputation as a pragmatist able to work with Conservative governments.

Under his leadership, Manchester was in the first tranche of cities to secure a devolution deal from government bringing powers over housing, transport, planning and policing, and a directly-elected mayor to be elected this May.

Sir Richard has also been one of the driving forces behind the Northern Powerhouse.

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said:
"I’m delighted that Sir Richard has agreed to speak. He is a can-do politician who achieved a great deal for Manchester and the wider North West

"Having known and worked with him for many years I know we are in for an interesting evening.”

He added: "Sir Richard’s achievements and insights have particular resonance for Cumbria as partners look to move forward constructively together and we look forward to hearing and learning from what he has to say.”

The partners’ dinner is an annual event run by the Chamber in conjunction with South Lakeland Council.

Tables of 10 are available for £400 plus VAT. To book, call Derek Armstrong on 07841 743066 or email

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