Kevin Keegan and Mary Portas among stars at Bridlington convention

Kevin Keegan will be speaking at Bridlington Spa on Friday, June 15.
Kevin Keegan will be speaking at Bridlington Spa on Friday, June 15.

A RETAIL guru and one of the country’s most iconic footballers will join a host of other star names at the Yorkshire International Business Convention – which is heading to Bridlington Spa tomorrow (Friday).

Mary Portas, Kevin Keegan, comedian Rory Bremner, ex-politician turned TV presenter Michael Portillo, Olympic athlete Steve Cram and Richard Branson’s former right hand man, Will Whitehorn, will all be taking to the Spa stage.

TV personality Portas, known as the ‘Queen of Shops’, led a government review into the state of Britain’s high street last year and recently awarded twelve flagging town centres around the country a share of government funding – as well as her expertise – in what was known as the ‘Portas Pilot’.

Members of the Bridlington Renaissance Partnership had submitted a bid along with businesses and traders focused on Bridlington’s King Street market – but were unsuccessful.

A second round of awards will be made later in the year and while Bridlington’s bid will automatically be put forward John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, said that more work with traders and businesses would be done before the final deadline for submissions, which is on Saturday, June 30.

However because of an expected busy schedule, it seems unlikely that Portas will take a tour of the town.

The Yorkshire International Business Convention has been held in Bridlington since 2004 alongside a sister event which is usually held in Harrogate, but this year moved to Leeds. It was announced in April that the annual business event would become a one venue affair from next year and would remain exclusively at the Spa – a sign of the organisers’ “faith in Bridlington”.

A spokesperson for the convention told the Free Press: “The event has run its course in the North and West Yorkshire area but the support in Bridlington and from the whole Humber region has been excellent.

“We have a wonderful venue and faith in the future of the event.”

For more information about the connvention visit