Embracing The Power of Positive Change: Celebrating ‘This Is The North’ 2023 Convention by Peoples Powerhouse

The Better Business network are excited to shine a spotlight on an event that’s close to our hearts—the upcoming ‘This Is The North 2023’ convention by Peoples Powerhouse 


When: Wednesday 29th & Thursday 30th November 2023

Where: Preston City Centre

Theme: A Radical North – The People Powered future Starts Here

Tickets: Buy your tickets here 

We firmly believe that change begins with community-driven action, and this event embodies the spirit of empowerment, innovation, and positive impact which is why we’re thrilled to provide you with all the essential information to support this remarkable convention.


What you can expect from day one

Understanding Community Wealth Building – Matthew
Brown, Valerie Wise (Preston Council) and Sarah Longlands (CLES).

How Can Community Wealth Building Build a People Powered North – An exploration of community wealth building and alternative economic models to enable the North to have a brighter future – 

Chair: Sarah

Speakers: Mayor Jamie Driscoll, Valerie Wise and more.

The Community in Community Wealth Building – exploring community-led initiatives to unpack what community wealth building can mean for communities in the North




Can Devolution Liberate the North – Explore what we devolution has achieved, what more can be done and what can be done to improve our public services without devolution. 

Chair: Ed Cox (Involve) 

Speakers: Zoe Billingham (IPPR North), Katie Schmucker (JRF), Mark Smith (Gateshead Council), Jessie Joe Jacobs (Democracy Network) and Andy Burnham (TBC)

The North is Structurally Unequal (like the rest of the
UK) What Radical Solutions Are There to Address This. Join the panel to explore radical people-powered solutions and unpick structural inequalities in the North.


Workshop Selection – Session One

A Bright Future for Northern Kids – The Brilliant Club

Join the group to explore their Parent Power programme in Oldham to empower parents & carers to create change in their children’s futures.


Proud of the North – Northern Housing Consortium

Join the session to hear how residents in the North shaped a Pride in Place programme by sharing what they felt made a great place to live.


A Long Table – Rochdale Council & Littleborough Arts Festival

Explore a new model of exploring challenging subjects with the team who used the model to discuss poverty, inequality and influencing climate policy.


Workshop Selection – Session Two


Temperance and Workers Rights

Friends of Winckley
Square tour exploring this in Preston.


Who Does Knowledge Belong To? – Y-PERN

Researchers and communities explore how they can make research more equitable.


Economics for Everyone – Flourish Economics

Explore the buzz words of economics (productivity and skills) and what they actually mean for you.


Why Give People “Free Money”? – A Conversation about Universal Basic Income

UBI Labs Leeds and Manchester and Basic Income Conversation.


Lightening Talks

Peoples Powerhouse always have so many inspirational ideas and projects in the North. Join them for their famous lightening talks to find out about some of them:



Where is the Convention?

The conference will be held in various locations across Preston City Centre.

They have chosen locations that are no longer than 10 mins  apart. The majority are a few minutes in between.

They will start and end the convention at Ashlar House, Saul St, Preston PR1 2QU



How do I get there? 

Peoples Powerhouse encourages anyone attending the convention to consider their carbon footprint and use public transport. Preston is on one of the main Northern railway lines and is located at: Preston station, Fishergate, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 8AP

The station is a 15 minute walk to the main venue.


Where should I stay?

Preston has many places to stay. The nearest location is the Premier Inn or Holiday Inn.



Will there be food and drink provided?

The first day will consist of a welcome session where there will be tea, coffee and biscuits provided. In the evening there is a fully funded event which includes one drink and food. On day two you will be welcomed again with tea, coffee and biscuits and a lunch is provided.

All food available will be vegetarian and if you have any other dietary requirements please let the Peoples Powerhouse team know when purchasing your ticket.



Additional spaces 

There will be a quiet space for reflection, networking or relaxation provided at a local space which is a short walk from the main venue. It will be open to convention participants throughout the convention.

The main space has a prayer room that can be used by all.




All venues are accessible.

If you have any concerns or specific requirements please get in touch so the Peoples Powerhouse team can support you the best they can.

Buy your tickets here