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Doncaster Businesses Invited To Join the Conversation About City’s Future at Upcoming Business Conference

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Doncaster Chamber’s flagship business conference will be returning in just a couple of months. Here, South Yorkshire business leaders — alongside nationally prominent entrepreneurs, politicians, public sector leaders and other influential figures  —  will all gather together under one roof for an in-depth discussion about our city’s future, as well as their ambitions for the months and years ahead.

Titled Doncaster, What’s Next? (DWN), the annual event staged a major comeback in 2022, following a hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It convened guest speakers from across South Yorkshire to talk about where they saw the region heading and the various economic developments and campaigns that were in the pipeline at the time. Panellists included South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard, Doncaster’s own Mayor, Ros Jones, Chief Executive of the Council, Damian Allen, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Shevaun Haviland, and a range of business experts from renowned firms like Hybrid Air Vehicles.

Many of these distinguished guests will be returning for the 2023 iteration of DWN, which is aiming to be even bigger and better than before. They will also be joined by some exciting newcomers to the conference, including the Senior Vice Principal of Doncaster UTC, the Managing Director of King Asia Foods and the President of the BCC, cross bench peer and serial tech-entrepreneur, Baroness Martha Lane-Fox CBE.

Kindly sponsored by Doncaster College and London North Eastern Railway (LNER), this year’s event will be taking place on Tuesday the 6th of June. Once again, it will see over 300 delegates assemble for a stimulating conversation about how we can evolve our city in both the short and long term.

Promoting a free-flowing exchange of ideas, DWN 2023 will feature panels on a number of topical issues that are affecting firms right now. Everything from closing the skills gap in Doncaster to attracting further investment into our city and growing the economy will be covered across the 4-hour conference. There will also be an opportunity to engage with local leaders via a Q&A-style discussion with Ros Jones and Damian Allen.

Within the context of recent setbacks —  including the closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and the near miss with the campaign to bring the Great British Rail Headquarters to Doncaster —  this will help local business people to understand what other opportunities are in the pipeline for Doncaster and to proffer their own innovative ideas for growing the economy.  A full list of speaker bios (for those guests that have been confirmed thus far) and the event schedule can be found here.

Enthusing about the conference line-up, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “Last year’s DWN really showed Doncaster in its best light, with inspirational stories of local entrepreneurship and rich debate sparked by our tenacious business community. We came away from that event with plenty to think about —   as well as lots of homework to be getting on with — and I am sure that the same will be true of 2023’s conference.

“We have representatives from LNER, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Polypipe Building Products, Hybrid Air Vehicles, Clean Power Hydrogen and the BCC all coming along to share their insights and thrash out the pressing issues of the day.

“Yet this conference is not just about listening passively to keynote speakers as they engage in debate on a stage away from the audience. Rather, businesses are encouraged to get involved with the conversation here, speak up and put forward their own ideas about where Doncaster needs to be going in the future.

“We want to hear from the business community about where they think the next big opportunity for Doncaster lies. This is the perfect forum for bringing such things to the attention of not only ourselves at the Chamber, but also your peers and political representatives.

“With that said, I urge anybody who feels invested in the future of Doncaster to book their place now. This is a valuable opportunity to make your voice heard.”

Doncaster, What’s Next 2023 will be held on Tuesday the 6th of June and is sponsored by Doncaster College and LNER. Breakfast and lunch networking is included.

More information about the event, as well as a link to secure your place, can be found here.



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