The Greater Manchester Economic Vision acknowledges the importance of business resilience in delivering economic recovery and growth. GM LEP is working in partnership with organisations including the Growth Company to provide support

A mental health and wellbeing webinar co-hosted by GM LEP and the GM Good Employment Charter heard that supporting the resilience of the region’s business leaders will be key to achieving economic recovery and growth.

Panellists included Lou Cordwell, Chair of GM LEP and CEO of digital design studio magneticNorth, who said that the recently-published Greater Manchester Economic Vision acknowledged the importance of resilience among business leaders.

She said: “One of our observations as the LEP, and I guess as the voice of business and economy in Greater Manchester, was the realisation that the health of our people, and the health of our economy are intrinsically interconnected.

“If you’re in Greater Manchester, it feels like we’ve been in lockdown pretty much for 12 months permanently in some form or other.

“As business leaders, it’s been exhausting. Everything seems unprecedented, so we’re dealing with new kinds of challenge.

“In that context, human wellbeing becomes incredibly important, not just because it’s human capital and it helps us to achieve many of the growth ambitions that we have in those key sectors and for our economy, but also by our definition of success.

“It actually becomes incredibly important, not least because it’s so interconnected: with innovation, with productivity, with creativity, with all of those things that are going to drive the next wave of our economic recovery.”

Lou referred to the Greater Manchester Economic Vision, published in 2020, and said it was an important opportunity to reappraise the way we live and work, to go forward to better rather than back to normal.

She added: “As a LEP, we’ve taken the moment not just to deal with the firefighting, and the immediate kind of support needed for business – just to help people stay alive, stay in a job, keep other people in a job and keep moving forward – but also just to think really about our five to 10-year outlook.

 “There was an RSA poll where only 9% of people wanted to return back to normal. I think people had stepped off the treadmill and realised that perhaps they didn’t want to return to exactly the way the world was before.

“We set out a very clear economic vision for Greater Manchester, and in that we describe a definition of success that works for all people and works for the planet.”

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Webinar can be replayed here:

Other speakers were Ian MacArthur, Head of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, Laura Earnshaw, founder of myHappymind and a leading thinker on the mental health of children, teachers and their parents; and Gemma Sole, Partner at School for CEOs, an executive education provider which helps equip senior professionals with the tools they need to perform strongly as leaders, also joins the panel.