A leading Northern based businessman and Philanthropist has been named as a key sponsor for The Educate – North Conference and Awards on 3rd June 2015 at The Hilton Hotel in Manchester – he will join The Telegraph Media Group and supporters Barclays and UMIP (University of Manchester Intellectual Property) the commercial arm of the University.

Tickets can be obtained at www.educatethenorth.com or by contacting Rachael Snelson on 01706 828855.

Today its confirmed that John Kennedy is to sponsor two of the major awards at the first ever Educate – North Awards.

The Papal Knight who has been showered with business and other awards throughout his career including a CBE, will turn the tables and hand out the award for The University of the Year and New University of the Year (founded after 1992) at the special awards dinner.

He joins other category sponsors including Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce.

Educate celebrates the world class institutions across the Higher Education and Further Education sectors and during the day will debate their future and opportunities and threats. John will also become the first Patron of the Awards.

‘I jumped at the chance to help drive this great initiative’ he said today: ‘there are some 33 Universities from the West to East Coast and a fantastic range of other excellent HE and FE Colleges in the North. All need encouraging and some deserve to be recognised and rewarded by competing for one of the 17 awards on offer, we need excellence and we need world beating standards so that the Northern Powerhouse talk can become a reality’.

John founded John Kennedy Civil Engineering in the 1960s and ran it until he sold the company on to a major blue-chip firm. Subsequently he has invested his wealth in charitable and educational projects throughout the UK and the world with support for initiatives in Africa and South America. He has also played and held roles with University of Liverpool; Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University and also with University of Manchester.

 Rob McLoughlin OBE one of the founders of Educate – North Awards and Conference said today: ‘The idea really sprang from conversations with John about the future of the knowledge economy and these institutions, he is keen to know how they can be fired up for greater success and avoid some of the pitfalls of changing policies and funding mechanisms. That was the spring board to say let’s create a canvass with the Telegraph and others to debate it’.        

‘We are honoured he is backing these two of 17 key categories and will hand the trophies to the winners. We are also pleased he will become our first Patron joining an impressive list of speakers, judges and our key advisors Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE; Professor Phil Harris of University of Chester and Nik Miller from the Bridge Group and recently at University of York’.

Alongside The Telegraph Media GroupUMIP (the commercial Intellectual Property division of The University of Manchester) has been named as Key Sponsor of the afternoon Conference session on the exploitation of ideas and products from the sector. BARCLAYS are also key sponsors.

The Academic Chairman of the Conference is Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE; Chairman of the Judges is Professor Phil Harris and Nik Miller of The Bridge Group is a key advisor.