Conference to set out economic growth opportunities and challenges within West Yorkshire 

On the 5th June, prominent business and public sector leaders, including Conroy Brook's CEO Richard Conroy, will come together at the West Yorkshire Development Conference - the region’s largest business conference of the year.

Running for the third consecutive year the conference, hosted by Built Environment Networking, will see some of the region’s biggest names in business, politics and local government lead a regional economic debate including discussions on transport, housing, skills and industrial strategy to maximise opportunities within the region. More than 30 speakers will discuss and present plans for the future of the region including:

  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Susan Hinchliffe, Chair
  • Caddick Group; Johnny Caddick, Director
  • Welcome to Yorkshire; Peter Dodd, Commercial Director
  • Network Rail; Paul McKeown, Investment Director
  • Transport for the North; Owen Wilson, Major Roads & Strategy Manager
  • MEPC; Paul Pavia, Head of Development
  • Kirklees Council; Naz Parker, Director of Housing
  • Yorkshire Water; Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management
  • Office for Students; Nicola Turner, Head of Sector Practice
  • Sustrans; Rosslyn Colderly, Director for the North
  • Highways England; Anthony Firth, Head of Planning, Development & Operations
  • Connect Housing; Helen Lennon, Chief Executive
  • Conroy Brook; Richard Conroy, Chief Executive Officer
  • Homes England; Dilys Jones, Head of Home Ownership & Supply
  • Leeds City Council; Angela Barnicle, Head of Asset Management
  • Wakefield District Housing; Andrew Wallhead, Director of Investment
  • Railfuture; Nina Smith, Chair
  • Leeds City Council; James Lewis, Deputy Leader
  • Leeds Digital Festival; Stuart Clarke, Director

The day-long event will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to hear about the collaborative approach to economic growth from the public and private sectors with the aim of ensuring positive regeneration and development within the region.

Anthony Firth, Head of Planning and Development at Highways England, said: "At Highways England we connect the country. Our roads keep businesses moving and help the economy of West Yorkshire to thrive. Working with partners and stakeholder organisations across the county is vital to our success and we’re excited to be speaking at this event, working together to explore how we can develop the region’s potential."

Richard Conroy, CEO of Conroy Brook Group of Companies, said: "These are exciting, if somewhat uncertain times for the Yorkshire housebuilding market. Despite a number of headwinds, there is still a structural imbalance in the housing market with a large shortfall in required homes. The award-winning Conroy Brook Group (now comprising Ben Bailey Homes) is looking to cement its position as one of Yorkshire ’s leading SME housebuilders. A new £10m revolving credit facility from HSBC is testament to the perceived strength of the company and the Yorkshire region housing market and we look forward to a day of great debate and discussion with our peers."

Tom Stannard, Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth at Wakefield Council said: "Over the next 18 years, our population is expected to increase by 9.5% which means that we need 1,600 new homes per year. We’ve recently had an extensive consultation with a range of partners, stakeholders and residents to understand what their needs are and to inform the next three-year Housing Plan. Our 2019-2022 housing plan focuses on a strong housing development that can drive regeneration and economic growth with a high quality and diverse range of housing that not only meets everyone’s needs and aspirations but also creates sustainable communities with homes that are affordable and healthy to live in, which we’ll be discussing at the event."

Amanda Coupland, Director of Built Environment Networking said: "Civic and business leaders in the region have an evident ambition to deliver an unprecedented level of economic growth within West Yorkshire, and the next five years will set the foundations for that. It’s an incredibly exciting period for the region with the arrival of HS2 and the focus on connecting regional towns and cities via the Northern Powerhouse agenda. They’re both set to enable much larger opportunities. This conference will be central to understanding the barriers to growth, whilst ensuring alignment and collaboration in the industry to boost jobs, skills, growth and regeneration across the whole region."

For more information or to book tickets to the event on the 5th June visit for media enquiries please contact Nathan Spencer at