Lord Mayor of London visits Leeds and Manchester to strengthen regional economic ties

The Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin, will this week (23 - 26 July) visit two leading UK finance hubs, Leeds and Manchester, in an effort to boost financial and business ties between the two northern cities and the City of London.

As an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, the Lord Mayor will meet Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, as well as the entrepreneurs and businesses that are at the vanguard of the cities’ economic success.

The Lord Mayor will use the trip to call on Leeds and Manchester firms to join him on upcoming business delegations to Australia and India to explore international business opportunities and expansion. Both countries have strong innovation and finance sectors.

The meetings will also be used to foster a closer relationship in financial and professional services, particularly with Brexit looming, and promote the City Corporation’s regional strategy. Manchester and Leeds are key cities in the strategy, which is helping to increase inward investment and build awareness of how London can act as a springboard for regional firms to export their products and services globally.

Like the City of London, Leeds and Manchester host strong financial and professional services clusters, share an ambitious innovation agenda, and have excellent access to talent via world-leading educational institutions.

Manchester has the second biggest financial centre outside London, joint with Edinburgh. Today, the region is home to more than 2.8 million people, with an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland.

Leeds offers businesses access to a highly-skilled workforce of 1.4 million people, with seven million people within an hour’s drive. As well as hosting a strong financial sector, it is home to the UK’s leading professional services hubs outside of London, and internationally renowned technology, healthcare and manufacturing firms.

The visit will also be used to champion digital skills as part of the Lord Mayor’s ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’ agenda which promotes an inclusive and sustainable global economy for the future.

Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of London, said:

“I’m delighted to be visiting Leeds and Manchester – two cities that have a growing global reputation for their outstanding financial and professional services offers.

“I want to focus on building on the already-strong economic relationship that the City of London has with these two great cities. With our departure from the European Union on the horizon, it is more important than ever that our cities work together to unlock the potential of the UK regional economy.

“A healthy, collaborative domestic economy is essential for us to further cement the UK as the leading financial and professional services centre in the world and strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage.”

Peter Estlin is a Senior Adviser to Barclays plc having joined in 2008. Most of his career has been spent in banking, initially as CFO for Salomon Brothers Asia, then CFO for Citigroup’s Investment and Corporate Banking divisions in New York and London. He joined Barclays in 2008 as Group Financial Controller and has been CFO of the Retail & Business Banking and Non-Core divisions as well as Acting Group CFO.

The Lord Mayor will be tweeting from @CityLordMayor during his visit.

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The regional strategy involves the City of London Corporation engaging with cities in a number of ways, including:

  • Inward investment: For firms looking to increase their domestic presence, the City Corporation can help facilitate the process of expanding their operations across the UK;
  • Trade links: As part of their extensive programme of international travel, both the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Policy Chair will invite representatives from the regions to join them in meeting senior representatives on the visits;
  • International outlook: Building awareness of the opportunities and expertise London provides to UK-based firms to export their products and services globally.