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18 March 2024

Hippo welcomes Rt. Hon. Angela Rayner M.P. for business leaders roundtable on levelling up agenda


Last week Hippo welcomed the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the Rt. Hon. Angela Rayner M.P., to its offices in Leeds. Ms Rayner was given a tour by CEO Adam Lewis and Co-founder and Director Liz Whitefield, who also discussed the importance of designing digital services that work for users

A group of business leaders sit in a conference room style seating arrangements engaged in discussion. We see five women and two men focused on one speaker, who is sat in front of a brightly coloured pull up banner .

Liz later hosted a roundtable in our new Hippo Campus event suite featuring a number of leaders from the city’s tech sector, with the main discussion being around the levelling up agenda and what firms are doing themselves to contribute to the region’s growth. Angela Rayner outlined how a future Labour government would boost regional economies by increasing investment in the private as well as the public sector. A common theme was getting government departments to work more closely together.

West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, also joined the roundtable, and revealed plans to take local buses back into public ownership. A more efficient transport system across the whole of the North was seen by roundtable guests as being key to increasing productivity in the regions. 

Three business and civic leaders stand considering the content of a whiteboard.

A number of guests discussed the importance of skills and how the tech sector is encouraging younger people into the industry through bootcamps, academies and apprenticeships, as well as working with universities to keep graduates in the region. The importance of the region of the development of advanced manufacturing, especially in the Net Zero sector, was highlighted. 

Darren Hutton, Chief Digital Officer at Hippo also joined the roundtable, and other guests included Anna Sutton, co-founder of The Data Shed which was acquired by Hippo in 2023, now known as Hippo Data; Mandy Ridyard, business advisor to the Mayor of West Yorkshire; Lisa Johnson, Vice President of Global Public Affairs at Starship; Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation at Bruntwood SciTech; Kelly Weston, COO at The Data City; and Stuart Clarke MBE, director at Leeds Digital.

Three women stand in a modern office space, enjoying a conversation. One lady has her back to use while the other two are facing the camera engaged in conversation with the other.

Liz Whitefield said “It was a real honour to welcome Angela Rayner to our offices. The region’s tech ecosystem is making a real contribution to economic growth and it was good to be able to bring a number of leaders together and for Angela to hear first hand about the contribution we’re all making”.

Kelly Weston from The Data City said “It was good to hear how a prospective Labour government would aim to reduce inequality across the regions by investing more in housing, transport and the private sector. The tech sector in the North is already making great strides in investing in skills and data but we’re aware there is a lot more to do”.