Downtown in Business unveils UK-wide expansion plan

Based in Liverpool, private sector lobby group and business networking club Downtown in Business, also has a presence in six other locations and aims to add another eight. Tony McDonough reports

Frank McKenna
Downtown in Business chief executive Frank McKenna. Picture by Tony McDonough


Private sector lobby group and business networking club Downtown in Business (DIB) is to expand into another eight cities in the next three years.

Based in Liverpool, DIB currently also operates in Manchester, Lancashire, Leeds, Birmingham, Cheshire, and London. Over the past 12 months it has secured more than 100 new members and 20 new partners.

Chief executive and group chairman Frank McKenna said: “We have worked hard to ensure that we did not ‘shut up shop’ as many others in our space felt they were forced to do during the COVID crisis.

“This has resulted in us enjoying record sales for every month so far this year, recruiting an additional 100 plus members across the country, and attracting a host of new partners.”

READ MORE: Lord Heseltine speaks at Downtown event

Atkins, Avison Young, Laing O’ Rourke, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Project 4, and Muse are among a range of new 2021 DIB sponsors, alongside Procure Partnerships Framework, Legacie, Crossfield, Stay City, Reciprocal Solutions, PFP Energy, Glenville Walker, and Sudulo. 

They join existing partners such as Bruntwood, Brock Carmichael, the European Space Agency, Mersey Rail, and High Performance Consultancy to add further value to the Downtown network. Since the first lockdown last March DIB has delivered more than 160 online events, attracting over 3,000 business leaders ‘virtually’ in the ‘Downtown Den’.

It also produced a Manifesto called Unlocking Enterprise & Entrepreneurship in the UK – a 30-step recovery plan post-lockdown that was presented to the Government. Mr McKenna added: “As ever,  the speakers we have attracted to our events have been of the highest calibre, among them the chief executives of Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester City Councils.

“Now the shackles are almost entirely off we will be offering the best business events programme around. Highlights for the remainder of this year include awards events in Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool.

“Next year we will be looking to establish the Downtown brand in three new cities, with Wolverhampton, Newcastle, and Sheffield high on our agenda as potential new locations. It is a really exciting time for Downtown, and we are determined to meet our objective of becoming one of the most influential business voices in the country.”

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