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Downtown Launches “Smart City” discussion in Leeds with shadow business secretary

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The shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, will join key Leeds business leaders at the first “smart city” event from independent private sector lobby group and business networking club, Downtown Leeds.

The roundtable discussion, supported by Leeds and Partners and focusing on advanced manufacturing, will take place this Thursday, at the offices of Clarion Solicitors, and will look at how the city region can accelerate its economic growth.

The “Smart City” programme of events, hosted by Downtown will involve entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers discussing the city region and its key sectors, which includes professional and financial services, medical technology and digital services.

Mr Umunna, a member of Shadow Cabinet, is in the city as part of a visit organised by Downtown Leeds and Rachel Reeves MP, who was recently promoted to shadow work and pensions secretary.

Downtown chief executive Frank McKenna said:

“Leeds is a city that is ambitious, with huge opportunities and potential ahead of it. By bringing together key players from the private and public sectors, Downtown hopes to create a narrative around how that can be achieved more effectively, efficiently and quickly.

“The support of Leeds and Partners for this initiative demonstrates the genuine commitment to collaboration in the city, and I am looking forward to debating the issues that will shape the future of Leeds.”

Deborah Copeland, director of marketing and communications at Leeds and Partners, said:

“In order to drive forward our ambition to be the UK’s first Health and Innovation City and drive growth, jobs and skills;  Leeds is increasing its engagement with private sector leaders, policy makers and universities.

“This roundtable is an excellent example of this approach.

“We are proactively pursuing investment in four key sectors: health and innovation, digital and information, and financial and professional services.

“Our work with private, public and third sector stakeholders in each of these areas centres on building unique value propositions that will set the city apart and build credibility and influence amongst investors in a global marketplace.”

The roundtable discussions will take place between October and March next year, followed by a Smart City conference in the Spring.

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