Manchester’s mayoral candidates will focus on the impact on the city’s media, creative and digital scene before May’s inaugural election.

Labour’s Andy Burnham, Conservative Sean Anstee and Jane Brophy of the Liberal Democrats are already in the throes of their campaigns.

The MPA ‘Big Debate’ will put the spotlight on the impact the new political structure could have on the 300,000 or more people employed in Greater Manchester’s digital sector - the second largest outside of London.

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Chair and organiser of the event Christian James said: “The Big debate is a vital event for anyone working in Manchester’s creative, media or digital sector.

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“We’ve got three outstanding candidates battling for the biggest job in Greater Manchester and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“There is around £900 million on the table and the new Mayor will in theory be wielding phenomenal power and influence.

“Are they going to slam a foot to the growth accelerator and help our sector realise its undoubted potential…..or is our GM Metro Mayor going to be so wrapped up in Whitehall tape and distracted by such a broad remit that we’re going to see a tailing off of support and funding over the next few years?

“It’s going to be a big debate.”

The three candidates will come together at the newly created Neo Building, and will be challenged by a panel of some of Manchester’s finest business leaders for an hour-long event on April 12.

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Cindy Simmons’s MD for organisers the MPA said: “We are delighted to partner with Bruntwood and create a platform for the mayoral candidates to share their vision for nurturing and strengthening a community that is such an economic driving force for our region.

“Tickets are limited so we do encourage people to obtain them ASAP, so as not to be disappointed.”

Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, added: “When the MPA approached us about working in partnership on their Big Debate series we were instantly interested as the creative, media and digital community has become an important part of our customer base and is having an increasing influence on the Greater Manchester region.”

Demand for tickets for tickets is expected to be high and MPA members will be given priority, with a waiting list for non-members. www.mpa.org.uk