The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) is an independent group of influential business leaders, who work together to promote the sustainable economic development and long-term well-being of North West England.   It was launched by HRH The Prince of Wales at Blackburn in July 1989.

The membership of NWBLT is made up of senior executives from the region’s major businesses – for a full list of members please click on "Team Members" above.   It operates as an independent business voice for the whole North West, thus providing valuable strategic support for the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships.

NWBLT members are currently engaged in a programme of thought leadership addressing issues of major concern to North West business.  These include Skills for Industry, Transport Investment, Science & Innovation and Essential Resources.  As senior business leaders, NWBLT believes the time has come for a more forward-looking and innovative approach to public policy, particularly in these three areas.

NWBLT also sponsors and administers the annual Lever Prize to stimulate collaboration between the North West’s cultural and business communities (with support from Arts & Business) and an annual Schools Science Competition for pupils from years 7 and 8 in North West schools.

NWBLT welcomes hearing from business leaders and representatives of organisations who share our vision of working together and contributing to the success of the North West as a great place in which to live and work. Our Business Leadership Forum is open to anybody with a bona fide interest in the long-term well-being of the region.

Latest News

Feeding the Creative Spark – 13 July 2015

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Events > Promoting the Region's Advantages > Science & Innovation > Events > The Lever Prize > News


The next meeting of the NWBLT’s Forum is entitled “Feeding the Creative Spark – a debate on the symbiotic relationship between business, science and the arts”. It is taking place on Monday 13th July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm in the Wolf Room at Eaton Hall – home of The Duke of Westminster, President of NWBLT.

The panel will be focussing on the relationships between the arts, science and business, and the role of business leaders and philanthropists in supporting cultural organisations and a thriving arts scene, as essential ingredients of a successful, sustainable economy. Panelists include Michael Oglesby (Chairman, Bruntwood and NWBLT member), Justin Kelly (Director of Strategy, Siemens Industry Sector), Paula Ridley (Chair, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art) and Julie Platt (Development Manager, Chester Performs).

Before and after the panel discussions, and to encourage a lively networking session, a number of locally based artists and performers will show some examples of their work and discuss informally with those attending what their work means to them, and how it can be better understood and interpreted. It is felt that this may help to foster a better appreciation by business people of the significance and relevance of the arts to our lives.

NWBLT holds lunch for newly elected North West MP’s at United Utilities

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Events > Events > Events > Events

Juergan addressing MPs (800x533)

The North West Business Leadership Team held a lunch for the newly elected North West MPs today. The event took place at United Utilities Head Office at Lingley Mere and was kindly hosted by their Chief Executive, Steve Mogford. The discussions at the event focused on current issues facing the North West region including skills, transport, science and its natural resources especially water. There was also an interesting discussion on the productivity puzzle and the NWBLT made a commitment to carry out some work around this issue.

The event also featured the North West Energy Squared Model – a large, interactive, computer controlled relief map of the North West region. The model aims to highlight the diversity of both existing and proposed sources of energy in the North West. It also introduces and promotes the concept of the tidal energy and road link scheme, its proposed location and key benefits.

Accenture Delivers International Prospectus for North West Business Leadership Team to Help Grow Science, Technology and Innovation

Posted & filed under Science & Innovation > Events

NWBLT Prospectus launch

An international prospectus, Discovery to Delivery, produced by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) was launched today by The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) to encourage investment in the region’s science, technology and innovation businesses.

The strategic assessment, directed at major corporations worldwide, is based on Accenture Strategy research and analysis commissioned by NWBLT in February. Accenture Strategy and Accenture’s Global Cities practice worked with NWBLT and private, public and academic organizations to map the core capabilities that the region offers to prospective businesses, including quality of research and development, talent, infrastructure, lifestyle and local political support. Chief executives and leaders of Manchester and Liverpool city councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, leading academics and private-sector companies were interviewed to help shape the plan.

The work highlighted the benefits and opportunities in the North West, while shaping the region’s growth and competitiveness strategy across a number of categories: identifying potential areas for improvement, proposals accelerating investment in the region, promoting global connectivity and growing existing businesses. The launch, which is hosted by Sci-Tech Daresbury and Liverpool City Region LEP, includes a promotion campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the economic growth potential of the North West.

NWBLT Forum features major achievements at Lancaster University

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NWBLT Forum meeting at Lancaster University, 13 May 2015

The NWBLT’s bi-monthly Forum met May 13 at the Lancaster Environment Centre, one of Lancaster University’s world-class research facilities. The meeting was hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andrew Atherton (seen here with Forum delegates). Professor Atherton spoke of the University’s rapid progress in recent years as one of the UK’s leading research intensive universities – this standing was re-affirmed by the most recent UK-wide Research Excellence Framework assessment. 35% of Lancaster’s research is designated as world-leading and 48% as internationally excellent.

Success at science and engineering event will mark young people out as future stars

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Science & Innovation > Events

Urmston Grammar and MEL Chemicals

Young people from 21 schools in the North West marked themselves out as science and engineering stars of the future at an important recent event hosted by the University of Liverpool.

The students are taking part in the prestigious Engineering Education Scheme (EES), generally viewed as the UK’s foremost programme for identifying young science and engineering talent among 16/17 year olds. EES, which allows the young people to work for six months on a real commercial project with a local company, is itself celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, a longevity which demonstrates its successful format.

NW Energy Squared Model is now in Barrow-in-Furness

Posted & filed under Essential Resources > General News & Events


The North West Energy Squared (NWE2) Model is now located at the Forum in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria until 29th May. It has recently been on display in Whitehaven in Cumbria and prior to that it was at RBS based in Spinningfields in Manchester. The model is approximately 3.5 x 1.5 metres in size and is a physical, interactive model of the North West. It also includes a video with a voice over commentary explaining its objectives to examine the possibility of building connected tidal gateways throughout the region.

BT recognised as a top employer for women

Posted & filed under General News & Events

An influential national newspaper has rated BT a top employer for women, Helen Slinger,  BT Regional Board member, North West ,  welcomes the news. ​Those organisations included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015 listing – produced in partnership with Opportunity Now, the gender campaign from Business in the Community – have to… Read more »

Lever Prize 2016 now open for applications

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Promoting the Region's Advantages > The Lever Prize > News

Lever Prize Image 1

For the past ten years, NWBLT has sponsored an annual award known as the “Lever Prize” – named after William Lever, the famous soap magnate (founder of Unilever) and arts collector. NWBLT invites arts organisations to compete each year for a £10,000 cash prize and the opportunity to benefit from a year-long partnership between the arts and business communities. The Lever Prize 2016 is now open for applications – the closing date for entries is 3rd July.

The current winner of the Lever Prize is Manchester Museum. Previous winners of the Lever include Liverpool Biennial in 2006, Manchester International Festival in 2007, TATE Liverpool in 2008, The National Football Museum in 2009, FutureEverything in 2010, The Whitworth in 2011, DaDaFest in 2012, Hallé St Peter’s in 2013 and Contact, Manchester in 2014.

This year the judges will be looking for regionally distinctive organisations which can demonstrate high calibre existing work and exciting future developments and projects with international or potentially international significance. In particular, NWBLT are looking for a specific project which their member companies would be able to become involved with.

May Forum to take place at Lancaster University

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Prof Andrew Atherton

The next meeting of Business Leadership Forum will be taking place at Lancaster University at 5.00 for 5.30pm on Wednesday 13 May 2015, where Forum members will be joined by project managers and students from the University together with members of the University’s Young Entrepreneur Society.

The meeting will be addressed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Atherton, who will speak about Lancaster University’s China Catalyst Project and the Centre for Global Health and Development.