Connected Places Podcast Episode 20: Connecting Greater Manchester with Sir Howard Bernstein

When we think about how places change, we often think in the short term over single business cycles, Mayoral terms or a city’s immediate response to crises and formative events. But stepping back and taking the longer view can also be helpful, especially in light of the profound changes that that have shaped England’s cities in recent decades.

In this episode we explore the story of one of England’s most iconic city regions – Greater Manchester – with one of the city’s most influential civic leaders over the last 25 years, Sir Howard Bernstein. We ask what Manchester’s last quarter century might tell us about the next. How the reforms to local government over this period such as Metro Mayors and City Deals have helped to shape a “Manchester Model” and what the next phase in the city’s devolution journey might look like. What the ingredients for success have been in shaping Manchester’s innovation economy, and how the vision of connected places and digital connectivity is at the heart of future growth, resilience and prosperity.

Prof. Greg Clark CBE, Chair of the Connected Places Catapult speaks to Sir Howard Bernstein, former Chief Executive of Manchester City Council and former Head of the Paid Service of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Sir Howard led a team which oversaw the regeneration of the city and transformational economic change over 25 years. Among many other hats, Sir Howard is an Honorary Prof. of Politics at Manchester University, he sits on the Board of Health Innovation Manchester and he’s a Strategic Advisor to Deloitte. 

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

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Sir Howard Bernstein; Connected Places Podcast
Show notes:

To learn more about the Manchester City Region and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority you can read Our People Our Place: The Greater Manchester Strategy, as well as a White Paper on the The Manchester Model of unified public services.

If you’re interested the often tricky question of how to procure innovation, come along to the next event in our Challenging Procurement Series: Co-creating Innovation which is beung held on 14th June. You’ll get a chance to hear case studies and best practices in procurement, and learn why citizen-led projects are often cited as a powerful tool by innovative public sector organisations. To register, click here.

To register for our next Virtual Connections Café on 9th June, click here. These SME innovation support webinars explore developments and opportunities in the built environment and mobility sectors, as well as offering support and guidance to growing businesses.

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