THE city's future as a business powerhouse will be the focus of a major conference in York.

York Business Conference will look at the city's ambitions, from exploring the global potential of UNESCO designation to maximising the bio-economy and capitalising on tech trends.

The event at York Racecourse on Monday kick starts York Business Week, a full programme of events to celebrate and support enterprise and innovation, with opportunities for skills training, networking and fact-finding about funding, apprenticeships and other issues.

The conference will also feature an exhibition of more than 30 businesses and organisations operating in York and beyond.

Juliette Healey, from the Bank of England, will open the speaker line-up, to deliver an overview of the regional economic picture and what York might expect in the coming months.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, will explore what York as a city can do to embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead.

"The Northern Powerhouse, rebalancing the British economy by closing North - South divide, is integral to driving the ambitions of York," he said.

"Connectivity, locally and for the North collectively, such as improved East - West links to Manchester and on to Liverpool on Northern Powerhouse Rail, as well as upgrading the East Coast mainline to Newcastle in readiness for HS2 reaching the city, along with the development of York Central and presence of leading university research, give York significant immediate and long term opportunities.

"Attracting talent from the wider region around the city, North and from beyond after first investing in local skills will drive further improving productivity, all of which will require more powers held across the travel to work area - not decisions from Whitehall which ignore needs of businesses in city."

Dr Sarah Hickingbottom ,CEO of BioVale - one of the UK’s only bio-economy clusters, will share the vision of the York area as a bio-powerhouse, and

With 16,000 businesses working in the circular bioeconomy across Yorkshire and Humber, the region has a strong base upon which to build a future-proof, innovation fuelled economy.

Tom Bird, executive director for York Theatre Royal, will share his insights on how businesses can help maximise York’s UNESCO City of Media Arts designation, and use it to their benefit.

Technology marketer, podcast host and speaker Bethan Vincent will explore technological trends and how York can capitalise on these.

Completing the line-up is Nicky Spinks, a record-breaking long distance runner who will talk about what the business world can learn from endurance sport, exploring the parallels between training for an ultra-marathon and planning in business.

Charles Storr, economy and enterprise manager for Make It York, said: "We’re delighted to bring together key influential figures from some highly topical business sectors. This conference is set to be a key event for anyone doing business in York and a great opportunity to come together and ensure the city is primed and ready to capitalise on the city’s future ambitions.’

The conference is from 8.30am to 3.30pm on Monday, November 11 and costs £45 per person.

For the full programme visit