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Salford set to welcome the region’s brightest and best

Friday 6 July 2018

SIXTH-FORM students from six schools across the North-West will battle it out for the title of Debating Matters Salford Champions 2018 at a flagship day of debate supported by the University of Salford.

The event, hosted by The Lowry and produced in partnership with Salford City Council, will also be supported by award-winning property developers Capital & Centric.

The event hopes to be a stepping stone for a major debating event in 2019. Salford's city  mayor, Paul Dennett, will award prizes to the students and close the event with a short speech.

Major contemporary issues

The 16-18-year-olds will take part in a series of debates on major contemporary issues with particular relevance to Salford and the local area - such as HS2, fake news, artificial intelligence and cultural appropriation - in what has been dubbed ‘the UK’s toughest debating competition’.

With content ruling over style to decide the winners, the participants are encouraged to leave no stone unturned in a day of fierce,frantic and, most importantly, free debate.

The Lowry’s spectacular waterside building will welcome Pendleton Sixth Form College, Loreto College,Range High School, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, University Technical College Bolton, and Blue Coat School, Oldham. The teams will battle it out for the inaugural crown of Debating Matters Salford Champions.

Judging panel

The students will face judging panels of adults from a wide range of professional backgrounds - including local business leaders, scientists,authors and academics - who will quiz them on their arguments and challenge them to defend their research and thinking. 

Among the judges on the day will be Michael Simpson, director of visual arts at the Lowry, Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, and Dan Tierney, producer of BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze.

Salford city mayor Paul Dennett said:“In a complex and ever-changing world, Debating Matters is hugely beneficial for our young people and hugelyimportant for our democracy. This is a competition encouraging young people tobe rigorous, robust and self-aware. Nothing could be more important in givingthem the tools to engage and succeed.”

Allowing free debate

Claire Fox, director of the Academy of Ideas, said: "We’re delighted that we’re able to bring Debating Matters to Salford and be hosted by a fantastic venue such as the Lowry. The competition prides itself on taking young people seriously, valuing ideas and allowing free debate. 

"We’re proud to be working with Salford City Council,notable in their commitment to the education of young people in their city. We can’t wait for a fantastic day of full-throttle, no-holds barred debate and discussion.

Tim Heatley,co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: The regeneration and property sector in particular is only as good as the new generations coming through the ranks, that’s why we’re backing this event. The future of our towns and cities lies in the hands of ambitious young people. 

"They’re fired up, care about the future and can contribute fresh ideas. The young people of Salford are no exception, it’s awesome that Debating Matters will give them a voice to share their take on the world.”

Fresh ideas

Mike Taylor,Head of Industry Partnerships at the University of Salford, said: “It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of encouraging rigorous, intelligent and well-informed debate. 

"Many of the issues being discussed on the night are at the forefront of cutting edge research taking place at the University of Salford, and we look forward to hearing what these young people have to say.”