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York & North Yorkshire LEP Annual Conference | Reshaping our economy

York & North Yorkshire LEP Annual Conference | Reshaping our economy

Friday 26 November 2021, 10am

Hosted by the York & North Yorkshire LEP

Through short films and live interviews, our annual conference showed how York and North Yorkshire’s fantastically diverse business base of micro and SME businesses can offer up challenge, direction and inspiration that will help our region plan for growth in a greener, fairer, stronger economy.

On this page you can watch the four films from the conference, as well as the full conference recording. Our guest speakers have also supplied further details about themselves and their organisations. 

Are you a business with a story to share? We’re keen to highlight further examples of how businesses in York and North Yorkshire are adapting and growing. Do get in touch at

Together we are resilient:

Together we will thrive:

Together we are reshaping the future: 

Together we will lead:

Full conference recording:

About the speakers and their organisations 

Andy Howard

Andy head shot resized Andy's early career encompassed insurance underwriting, and then 15 years in the packaging industry, where he ultimately became the Sales Director for the main supplier of own brand tapes into the UK retail sector. Andy’s packaging industry career included responsibility for accounts such as Coca-Cola, Hovis and Nestle, and restructuring and managing the UK operations of a Dutch multi-national company. Since 2011 (together with Sir Edward Milbank) he has been the co-Founder & Director of Pennine Biomass Ltd, Pennine Enterprises Ltd & Pennine Forestry Ltd. This group of companies has led the way in transforming the implementation of commercial afforestation projects in England, and Andy has been directly involved in informing DEFRA and Government on the development of tree planting initiatives in England. The inspiration for establishing Climate Solutions Exchange Ltd came from the experiences gained whilst running the Pennine businesses.

Climate Solutions Exchange Ltd (CSX Carbon) was born from the founders’ experience of seeing inefficiencies in the current carbon market, and identifying an opportunity to help accelerate the drive towards a greener economy.   CSX Carbon provides the technical infrastructure that businesses and landowners need to measure carbon and other natural capital accurately.  We help our partners make important ecological decisions with certainty and confidence by providing a verifiable audit trail. This audit trail is essential for a global and fair carbon market. On the one hand we provide businesses with the evidence that their climate commitments are being met, and on the other we encourage the supply of carbon and other natural capital from landowners by helping them to monetise it.  Ultimately the data we can provide on carbon sequestration gives much needed reassurance to everyone involved.

In short, we exist to help businesses and landowners take control over their climate action immediately and to provide integrity and structure to that process.

Clear and affordable measurement will be a catalyst for increased corporate climate action, and will also allow landowners to recognise and harness their natural capital, encouraging them to use their property for climate-positive purposes.

Anthony Main

Profile - TechAnthony is a true digital thoroughbred, having been obsessed with technology from a very young age. He  built (and subsequently blew up) his first computer at the age of 13! His passion is now centred on mobile innovation and has created one of the UK’s top five app agencies. He is driven by the creative culture he has nurtured in the team around him and relishes the technical challenges that arise from the projects they deliver.

The Distance is a creative, digital agency that specialises solely in the development of bespoke mobile applications. With customers across many verticals, the agency serves a wide range of businesses, from disruptive startups to multi-billion turnover global enterprises. Such world-renowned businesses include NHS, Astra Zeneca, Slimming World, Bentley Motors and Eurotunnel.

Each app is uniquely crafted on top of in-house frameworks that maintain the efficiency and quality of the codebase. With creative yet intuitive user interfaces, the customer experiences have seen many apps achieve award-winning status.

Having grown to around 20 full-time digital experts, The Distance’s close-knit team is able to deliver succinct and efficient project lifecycles using their well-proven app development processes. With offices in York and London, the quality of UK-based skills ensures the success of all projects undertaken.

Caroline Routh

photo of CR for LEP conferenceCaroline Routh is the Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Caroline has worked in regional producing theatre for over 25 years, including as Executive Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, where she oversaw the company’s move into and launch of its new £30m city centre venue; as Administrative Director at Battersea Arts Centre; and as Executive Director for Northern Stage, where she successfully led the £9.5M refurbishment of the theatre. Caroline was the co-founder and co-director of The Empty Space, a company producing and developing theatre in the north east of England; and Executive Producer at Musical Theatre Network, seeking out and supporting the best new British musical theatre. In a freelance capacity she has acted as producer for a number of companies, including Piesn Koszla, Greyscale and The Paper Birds, touring work nationally and internationally. 

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) has been providing world-class and accessible theatre on the Yorkshire coast since 1955. It is a producing theatre with a national and international reputation, pioneered by playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn (whose work continues to be premiered here) but now sustained and developed through a wide-ranging programme of high-quality theatre, film, music and comedy designed to offer audiences the broadest possible choice. For local audiences and the thousands who visit this beautiful part of the world every year, SJT provides year-round entertainment: diverse, funny, surprising, visually daring and packing a big emotional punch.

Alongside the work on its stages, SJT also provides an extensive participatory programme, working across the borough and with all ages and communities: a youth theatre programme for anyone aged 0 – 21; a series of acclaimed cross-generational dementia workshops; online script development sessions and community choirs. SJT works in depth with schools in the town using theatre techniques to support children and young people, including those with specific social and emotional needs, at risk of being excluded or struggling with general literacy – as well as offering many of these young people their first experience of theatre through the annual Christmas show.

Andy Swinscoe

headshotAndy Swinscoe owns The Courtyard Dairy in Settle, North Yorkshire.  Having specialised in cheese at an early age, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to study cheese maturing in France.  Andy then went on to work for some of the top cheesemongers and maturers throughout France, London and Bath.

In 2012 he set up The Courtyard Dairy with his wife, Kathy with he personally being awarded Cheesemonger of the Year (World Cheese Awards 2013), Entrepreneur of the Year (Dalesman Magazine 2014) and last year (2020) was awarded a prestigious Guild of Fine Food Golden Fork by his industry peers for his contribution to the cheese industry in Britain.

The Courtyard Dairy was created with the ethos to champion and support the few remaining independent farm cheese-makers in Britain, and, at the same time, encourage other farms to diversify into traditional cheese-making on their own farm.

Set up in 2012 The Courtyard Dairy went on to achieve numerous accolades and awards for its dedication towards quality cheese and supporting traditional production, including Best Cheese Counter (World Cheese Awards), BBC Food and Farming Awards and being recognised as One of the Top 50 Food Shops in the World (The FT 2021).

In 2017 the shop expanded into new premises and added bigger maturation rooms, a museum telling the history and story of farmhouse cheese, a café serving cheese-based dishes and a cheese production room.  

It currently employs 21 people and supports 30 traditional farm-cheese makers throughout the North of England.


Thank you to all involved in the films:

John Connolly, C4Di

Aly Thompson, Hambleton District Council

Councillor Peter Wilkinson, Hambleton District Council

Andy Howard, CSX Carbon

Jasmine McCarthy, The Little Acorn Tearoom

Guy Barker, Barkers Northallerton

Anthony Main, The Distance

Will Willcock and Andrew Harrison, City of York Council

Councillor Andrew Waller, City of York Council

Nicky and Al Kippax, Bluebird Bakery

Simon Hall, PWP Design

Helen Elcoate, Coast Tuition

Caroline Routh, Stephen Joseph Theatre

Andy Swinscoe, Courtyard Dairy