The annual conference of 4NW, formerly the North West Regional Assembly, due to be held in Manchester on Friday, will help prepare for the Government's forthcoming Single Regional Strategy.
The SRS is being drafted jointly by 4NW and the North West Development Agency and is due to be published for ministerial approval in 2010, combining planning policy with economic priorities, transport, housing and employment targets.
Tomorrow's event, entitled the Regional Conversation, will "aim to prepare its senior audience for the difficult decisions which will need to be taken if the Single Regional Strategy is to become an effective document".
Phil Woolas, minister for the North West, will be keynote speaker setting out the Government's Challenge to the Region.
The 4NW Chair and Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Sir Richard Leese, will respond for the people of the North West and Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, will discuss how the region will respond to the challenges.
Phil said: "I am absolutely delighted to be representing the North West as its Regional Minister. This is my first speaking engagement in the role, and I am looking forward to working with 4NW and the other organisations involved on the Regional Strategy.
"Although we are living in very challenging times, I strongly believe that the North West's pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit will help it lead the way to economic recovery, and I will do all I possibly can to make this happen."
The conference at Manchester Central is intended for a high-level local authority and regional stakeholder audience of 150 delegates. The event will use a number of technologies including electronic voting pads to judge set scenarios showing the choices which could face the region – presenting delegates with the opportunity to work through the consequences of their decisions and measure the impact they could have on the future development of the North West.
The event is by invitation only and is now fully subscribed.
- See the 4NW website for further information on the organisation's work.