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

Creativity core to strengthening the Northern Powerhouse

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

Esme Ward

Creativity needs to be a key part of the curriculum if we are to be a driving force in the Northern Powerhouse, according to business leaders. The NWBLT Forum gathered to debate the importance of investment in training young people in both science and arts. Spearheaded in the UK by the Cultural Learning Alliance, the movement is calling to add the ‘A’ (arts) in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to become STEAM.

Speaking at a Forum meeting held at Sci-Tech Daresbury, Esme Ward, Head of Learning and Engagement at Manchester Museum, said: “Science educators are desperate to bring more creativity to the science curriculum. When you bring art and science together, there is huge potential for really extraordinary things to happen.”

NWBLT supports UK’s EU membership

Posted & filed under General News & Events > News


The North West Business Leadership Team today lent its support for the UK staying in the EU, as expressed recently by national business leaders including the CBI. The NWBLT believes the arguments for staying in are even more powerful from the point of view of the North West.

In a position statement published today, NWBLT commits its support for the UK remaining as a member of the EU, emphasising the large number of jobs (around 4.3 million) which depend upon links with the EU. The proportion of UK employment which is dependent on EU trade is even higher in the North than in the South of England, it suggests.

NWBLT also points to the continuing importance of the EU Structural Funds, estimating the value of the current programme (2014-20) to the North West being around £800 million.

Click through to read article in full.

Transport Investment Urgently needed, North West Business Leaders tell Government

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

Mike Blackburn with patrick small

The North West Business Leadership Team today presented a Transport Update Report to the Secretary of State for Transport calling for further urgent investment in the region’s transport infrastructure both in the short and long-term. The Update Report follows on from “The North West on the Move” which was published in 2013 and takes into account the increased profile given to the region by the Northern Powerhouse proposals.

Over the next five years the NWBLT is calling for the roll-out of smart electronic passenger ticketing right across the North of England, completion of the planning of HS2 and a start on its construction, initial planning of the TransNorth west-east rail link and a rolling programme of other strategic transport investments to secure business competitiveness, jobs, growth and the rebalancing of the UK economy. The NWBLT is particularly concerned that the North West has suffered over many years from the lack of forward planning of both road and rail investment, causing uncertainty for business and undermining regional competitiveness.

Next Forum on 9th November – “Building up a Head of STEAM”

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

STEAM images

The NWBLT is delighted to announce the staging of another Forum panel debate at Sci-Tech Daresbury on 9 November (5 for 5.30pm), following the success of ‘Feeding the Creative Spark’ at Eaton Park in July. Having explored the symbiotic relationship between business, science and the arts on that occasion, the November Forum will turn this relationship on its head and examine it from the viewpoint of stimulating, and further developing, the North West’s successful wealth-generating science.

The panellists on this occasion will be Dr Chris Doherty, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships based at the Alderley Park Biohub; Suzanne Jones, Head of Europe, Central Asia and Middle East, International Knowledge and Innovation Unit, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; David Heke, Founder member of the Chester-based arts collective, ‘chart’; Esme Ward, Head of Learning and Engagement, Manchester Museum; and Fiona Gibson, Managing Director, Products Lead UK & Ireland, Accenture North West (authors of the NWBLT ‘Discovery to Delivery’ 2015 Science Prospectus).

North West Schools Science Competition is now open for entries

Posted & filed under NW Schools Science Competition > Science & Innovation > Events > The Lever Prize

Manchester Museum

Do you know a pupil in Year 7 or 8 attending a North West School who would like the chance to win an iPad mini and cash for their school? All they need to do is submit 500 word email to info@nwblt.co.uk on “Why I want to be a Scientist” by 6th November 2015.

The best six entries from each year group will be invited to take part in a presentation event taking place at Manchester Museum on Monday 7th December and the winner of each year group will be presented with an iPad Mini and a cheque for their school. All 12 candidates will be filmed making their presentations and feature on the NWBLT YouTube Channel.


Posted & filed under General News & Events

SS lab session

FOUR cultural organisations from across the North West have been shortlisted for the prestigious Lever Prize 2016. Manchester, Liverpool and Cumbria all feature in the shortlist for the prize, which is run by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) and is now in its 11th year. The winner receives a £10,000 cash award and the opportunity to develop working relationships with some of the North West’s most influential business leaders. The Lever Prize is awarded annually by NWBLT in partnership with Arts and Business.

The shortlisted organisations are:-
FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology) – Liverpool
Lakeland Arts – Cumbria
Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Arts
Museum of Science and Industry – Manchester

“We need an industrial and productivity strategy now more than ever” NWBLT Chairman, Juergen Maier

Posted & filed under General News & Events

Juergen Maier, NWBLT Chairman

As we saw from GDP figures announced last week, economic growth is accelerating and our economy, according to most indicators is roaring ahead. Restaurants are opening, services are expanding and house prices are up. The tenth consecutive quarter of growth, the third longest uninterrupted period of growth since 1955 will be of great relief to the Government and inward investors alike. Add to this ultra low inflation with looser credit conditions and there are the ingredients for strong short and medium term growth. For many this is good news, and it should be welcomed.

Click through to read article in full.

Forum features ‘Filaments’ film

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

In addition to the highly stimulating “Feeding the Creative Spark” debate, those fortunate enough to attend NWBLT’s July Forum had the opportunity to see a short film entitled “Filaments – Tracing the Thread in the Cumbrian Landscape’. The “Filaments” film is a delightful representation of the creativity behind the art exhibition mounted by Jenny Ryrie RBSA, David Heke and Liz Ellis in Keswick, Cumbria, earlier this year – the official 2015 “Words by the Water” Literature Festival exhibition held at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Please click through to see the film.

September Forum meeting in Liverpool to focus on Teach First

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Events > NW Schools Science Competition > Events > Events

Teach first

Join Teach First’s Local Area Director for the North West Colin Ferguson, and Head of Corporate Partnerships Jessamy Gould, at the upcoming NWBLT Forum Meeting on Monday 14 September at Hill Dickinson in Liverpool, to learn more about Teach First’s work in the North West, and how the charity works with business to ensure that no child’s educational success is limited by their socio economic background.

At the meeting you will also have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the issue of educational inequality in the North West through an interactive journey, and hear from a Teach First teacher about their experience of teaching in some of the toughest classrooms in the country.

The meeting will also feature a presentation from a Liverpool John Moores University student on promoting STEM subjects to year 7 and 8 pupils at local schools.

NWBLT Member Michael Oglesby says “Corporate Giving has a Role in Northern Powerhouse”

Posted & filed under General News & Events

Panel members )l-r) - Michael Oglesby, Julie Platt, Paula Ridley, Justin Kelly and Geoffrey Piper

BRUNTWOOD chairman Michael Oglesby has called on the North West’s business community to do more to support the arts so that culture can fulfil its role in the region’s Northern Powerhouse ambitions.

Mr Oglesby, a member of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), told a gathering of business and culture leaders that corporate philanthropy was a responsibility for companies of all sizes and had become essential given the contraction of public spending on arts and culture. And he said that ambitions for northern economic growth had to be supported by continued investment in arts and culture.

Mr Oglesby said: “A city without arts at its heart is a dead city. It’s a city no-one wants to live in, invest in or visit. These days, everyone has to be a philanthropist and to give both money and time to support the cultural infrastructure which makes our cities tick.”