We will be hosting an event alongside the Industrial Communities Alliance, the Key Cities Group and the Centre for Towns on 27 September from 9.30am to 4pm at Doncaster Mansion House, 45 High Street, Doncaster DN1 1BN. 
In recent years much of the focus in economic development has been on the big cities. Growth in the big cities is welcome but it raises many questions for the rest of the country not least: 
    • What is the future for the smaller cities, towns and industrial communities beyond the big cities?
    • Are the big cities really the engines of growth, spreading their prosperity across the rest of the country, or is there a more complex and mutually beneficial relationship between cities and towns?
    • Given the shifting patterns of work and consumer behaviour, does the relationship between the big cities and the rest of the country need to be re-evaluated?
The conference will examine what policy interventions are needed to deliver balanced growth across all communities. The conference draws together local and national politicians, academics and practitioners from across Britain to discuss the future for towns and industrial communities.
The conference will also see the launch of new proposals on growth beyond the big cities, developed by partners in the conference. There will be plenty of time for questions, discussion and networking.
The provisional line-up of speakers includes:
Lisa Nandy MP, Ian Warren and Professor Will Jennings, Centre for Towns
Ros Jones, Elected Mayor, Doncaster Council
Cllr Peter Box, Chair, Key Cities Group
Sarah Longlands, IPPR North
Peter McNestry and Gary Ellis, Coalfield Regeneration Trust
Prof Mark Barry, University of Cardiff
Prof Steve Fothergill, Sheffield Hallam University
Prof Duncan MacLennan, University of Glasgow
Dr Joan Dixon, Industrial Communities Alliance