South Yorkshire, crucible of the Industrial Revolution, was once a proud, prosperous and highly-skilled society. In the 1980s its two major industries collapsed and it is now the poorest region in England.
It still has huge assets, including coherence between its economic geography and its political organisation. It has a nationally-central and under-utilised logistics hub at Doncaster, with fast road, rail, air and port connections. In the public sector it has two top-rated universities, and excellent teaching hospitals. In the private sector it has major clusters of SMEs, including a network of 800 IT firms. It has a vibrant civil society, with world-leading social enterprises. In other countries, similarly hit cities have revived.
Dave Smith, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire City-Region Authority and Colin Mayer, Professor of Finance, discuss how South Yorkshire can forge a strategy for change.
Dr Dave Smith
Chief Executive, South Yorkshire City-Region Authority
Dave Smith has been a Chief Executive in Local Government since 2005 and Chief Executive of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership since February 2016.
He is responsible to lead the Mayoral Combined Authority executive team, advise and support the Mayor, the Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Dave is accountable for the delivery of economic strategies and programmes including transport, business growth, skills, infrastructure and housing within the region.
Dave has a Phd in social psychology and a Masters in economics.
Professor Colin Mayer
Lead Researcher, Oxford Martin Initiative on Regional Levelling-up
Colin Mayer is a Professor of Management Studies at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the European Corporate Governance Institute, a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford and St Anne’s College, Oxford.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Playhouse, and he was a member of the UK Government Natural Capital Committee, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and the International Advisory Board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. He was chairman of Oxera Ltd. between 1986 and 2010 and a director of the energy modelling company, Aurora Energy Research Ltd between 2013 and 2020. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours. He leads the British Academy enquiry into “the Future of the Corporation” and his most recent book Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good is published by Oxford University Press.
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