BOLTON business leaders were amongst thousands to attend Greater Manchester’s largest conference in more than 18 months.

The PROGRESS21 event, held at Manchester Central last week, aimed to bring companies and job seekers alike to together in order to discuss the city region’s global growth ambitions as well as career and business opportunities.

This comes with many of Greater Manchester’s boroughs, Bolton in particular, working to revive their economies after the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a heavy toll across the region

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham, who delivered a keynote speech, said: “It’s fantastic to see the buzz and hear the noise and chatter in the room today.

“Many of these businesses have been held back during the pandemic and people here are raring to get back out into the jobs market, the two are coming together here and it’s fantastic to see, Greater Manchester is very much back in business and we’re coming back strong.

"We're a global city, we're a leader in digital and green technologies.

“We’ve got so much to offer and I think that Manchester is increasingly being noticed on that international stage for what’s happening here.”

The conference was organised by The Growth Company, in collaboration with its partner organisations across the region with firms from Bolton and elsewhere across the city region featuring prominently alongside national and international companies.

Growth Company chief executive Mark Hughes said: “This has been a really special event.

"As we continue the recovery from Covid-19, PROGRESS21 has been a fundamental stepping stone, a chance to come together and help the city region to recover and start to thrive."

“Whether it's the businesses we've been meeting or individuals looking for a new job, everyone has been trying to achieve that next step and there has been so much energy in the room here at PROGRESS21."