New Mayor Joins Business Leaders to Celebrate the Best of Greater Manchester

May 19th, 2017 - Last updated at May 20th, 2017

"I will work with the Chamber to build on the solid foundations that have been built here in the last 20 years."

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester


The new Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, joined 640 business leaders at Greater Manchester Chamber’s Annual Dinner last night.

The event was once again held at the Victoria Warehouse, with Red Dwarf’s Craig Charles acting as host and providing the sounds for a funk and soul DJ set at the after-dinner party.

In what was his first major speech to the business community, Andy Burnham said: “I will work with the Chamber to build on the solid foundations that have been built here in the last 20 years.

"Greater Manchester’s reputation nationally and internationally has been hard won and I won’t let that reputation be lost.”

As well the mayor, the line-up of guest speakers included:

  • Wayne Jones OBE, Member of the Executive Board - Global Sales & After Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE and President of Greater Manchester Chamber

  • Jane Boardman, Partner at Deloittes and Vice-President of Greater Manchester Chamber

  • David Brown, CEO of Transport for the North

In his speech, Wayne Jones, who is in his second year as president, said: “So whilst we do live in changing and challenging times, in a strange way I’m really pleased that all this happened whilst I’ve been your President and I’ve been able to get involved with a lot of valuable work helping steer the right course for the Chamber and its members.

“My themes around the Manufacturing and Engineering sector, Young People and Skills and International Trade are well advanced and these will continue after my term ends in October of this year.

“From day one I wanted to be so much more than just a ceremonial figurehead. I am one of the very fortunate few 100 individuals that have been President of the Chamber over the last 223 years – for me this is very humbling. And I’m sure that we all have in our own way tried to make a difference to stand up not just for the Chamber’s members but the wider business community too.

“So despite the uncertainty and the barrage of politics and comment we face virtually 24/7 we should never forget that this city and this Chamber are built on collaboration and working together to not only make things better, but also to make a difference too.”

Poet Tony Walsh, aka LongFella, performed a piece specially commissioned for Greater Manchester Chamber. manchester jazz festival and the Charlie Cooper Trio provided entertainment throughout the evening.

During the dinner, Oldham-based artist, Helen Davies, was announced as the winner of the 2017 GM Arts Prize. (read more below). The Chamber launched its second annual Arts Prize in January. It received 220 entries in total from 94 professional and semi-professional artists from across Greater Manchester.

The Chamber also received its own award from the Living Wage Foundation. The Living Wage Award was presented to Alex Davies, Research Analyst at the Chamber.

The Annual Dinner raised £3,900 for Broughton House, the Salford home for ex-servicemen and women.

Click here to view the highlights of the evening

The Chamber would like to thank the following sponsors and supporters who helped make the Annual Dinner such a success:


Manchester Airport

Westfield Health

Auto Trader

Esprit Warehousing

Scene Indian Street Kitchen

First Internet


United Airlines

Arts Prize:

Judges and Supporters and the artists that entered the competition


Tony Walsh

manchester jazz festival

Charlie Cooper Trio

Supporters of the event:

Victoria Warehouse

Out There Events

BellyFlop TV

Selfie Almightly

Eden Photography


Host – Craig Charles

Jane Boardman

David Brown

Wayne Jones

Andy Burnham