Northern Powerhouse partner The Northern Affinity has expanded its team with the appointment of two further young professionals.

Lydia Burton aged 21 and Maya Johnson aged 21 join as partner relationship manager and social media executive.

They are the third and fourth people to join the firm in the last six months, all of which have been appointed via the Government’s Kickstarter Scheme.

This is a testament to founder Mike Edwards’ commitment to giving young people a voice and a chance to begin and excel their career in the north.

The Northern Affinity is a business community powering growth and development in the north. Since 2019, the firm has been bringing together like-minded people from across the north, providing a platform to connect, collaborate and share expertise.

It has partners across the North of England each who benefit from virtual events, one-to-one support, a dedicated chat platform, discounts on coworking space and business support services, promotion across social media and their website, and opportunities to present at events.

Each of the new roles has been created due to the rapid growth experienced over the last 12 months – since November 2020, the business community has soared to over 130 partners.

Despite lockdown causing initial disruption, The Northern Affinity wab able to achieve this growth by quickly adapting to new safety measures and finding innovative ways for partners to connect without face-to-face meetings.

As a result, founder Mike was able to give back to the community by providing opportunities to youngsters such as new team members Lydia and Maya.

Commenting, founder Mike Edwards said: “Whilst we had some early teething problems with the Kickstart Scheme, we’re over the moon with the people who have joined us via it and have been blown away by their commitment to our partners so early on in their journey.”

“It can be difficult for northern-based youngsters as there is pressure to go to London to find the best positions. But there are so many great opportunities in the north, for example within the Finance, Media and Digital industries. Helping young people find these roles and start their careers in the North is imperative to thriving northern regions and businesses.

“When I set up The Northern Affinity, I wanted to do more than just run a business. I wanted to create a community that helped everyone in the north thrive, whilst encouraging collaboration and opportunity at the same time.

“As graduates struggling to find work, Lydia and Maya really acknowledged and understood this, and I’m delighted to have them on the team.”

Lydia, who graduated from Liverpool university this summer with a degree in History will work with current partners to ensure they get the best out of The Northern Affinity as well as take new partners through the application and onboarding process.

Maya, who also graduated this summer from the University of Bristol with a degree in Sociology will be taking the lead on social media and marketing activity – a vital part of the service the firm offers to partners.

To find out more about the new team members or the benefits of being a partner, please visit