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, Essential Resources and Productivity. As senior business leaders, NWBLT believes the time has come for a more forward-looking and innovative approach to public policy, particularly in these five 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

NW Schools Science Competition 2016 Winners Announced

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


Young people from across the North West Region have been battling it out to be crowned winners of the prestigious North West Schools Science Competition. The winners each received an iPad Mini and £250 for their school to spend on science equipment. The competition aims to encourage more pupils to consider science as a career. Now in its 8th year, the competition is hosted by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Pupils in Years 7 and 8 from across Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside were asked to submit an essay stating “Why I want to be a scientist” in less than 500 words. From there a 12-strong shortlist was drawn up to participate in the ‘Competition Final’ held in the newly opened UTC in Warrington.

The Winner in Year 8 (age 12) was Oliver Castledine from Cheadle Hulme High School. Oliver said “I am very happy to have taken part – everyone did really well. I did not think I would win and am surprised but delighted”. The Runner Up from Year 8 (age 12) was Charlotte Ryan from Holly Lodge Girls School in Liverpool. The Winner in Year 7 (age 12) was Emile Stone-Bourgeois from Cheadle Hulme School. Emile commented that he was “ecstatic to win although relieved it was all over – it was a great experience”. The Runner Up from Montgomery High School in Blackpool was Hannah Byrne (Age 11).

Finalists announced for NW Schools Science Competition

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


The list of the pupils shortlisted for the North West Schools Science Competition 2016 has now been announced. The evening presentation will take place on 5th December in Warrington when the applicants, from across the region, will give a two minute presentation on their entry to a group of industry judges. The list is below:-

Year 7 – Isobel Barfoot (Cheadle Hulme School), Hannah Byrne (Montgomery High School), Oliver Gardner (Stockport School), Sumaya Mohamed (Manchester Academy), Emile Stone-Bourgeois (Cheadle Hulme School) and Kieran Stubbins (Cheadle Hulme School)

Year 8 – Oliver Castledine (Cheadle Hulme High School), Matthew Dickinson (Cheadle Hulme High School), Mahnoor Javed (Altrincham Grammar School for Girls), Charlotte Ryan (Holly Lodge Girls College, Liverpool), Katie Schilling (Cheadle Hulme High School) and David Wood (Cheadle Hulme High School)

NWBLT member companies call for Transport to top Autumn Statement

Posted & filed under Northern Powerhouse > Transport Infrastructure


With less than a week until the new Chancellor of the Exchequer’s first Autumn Statement, a coalition of North West businesses has made an ambitious call for the Government to spend more on transport in the North per head than in London over the next decade.

The call to revolutionise transport funding comes from three NWBLT member companies Addleshaw Goddard, Grant Thornton and Atkins, who have produced an ‘Unlocking Growth in the North’ report. The report is the outcome of a series of events held over the last year, involving more than 100 organisations, to discuss how to boost growth in the North and rebalance the UK economy.

Transport for the North’s Chair sets out Vision for Northern Connectivity

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


The latest in the North West Business Leadership Team’s series of business briefings for MPs took place on 2 November in the House of Commons. The principal speaker on this occasion was John Cridland, Chair of Transport for the North, who set out his vision of just what could be achieved by improving Northern connectivity in the years ahead.

Investment in the North’s transport infrastructure, John explained, is about closing the North-South economic gap, and to do this we need to create an extra 850,000 jobs across the North of England. The North’s key sector strengths are advanced manufacturing, energy, life sciences and digital and these are backed by the enabling capabilities we have in financial services, higher education and logistics. Transport connectivity holds the key to making the Northern Powerhouse work. Not only will HS3 (or ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’) connect the North’s 16 million people, it will also considerably enhance freight capacity.

NWBLT supports Chester Visual Arts development discussions

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


An independent body comprising experts from culture and business in Chester is aiming to put the city on the map for contemporary arts and includes plans for a permanent gallery to attract people from across the country.

Research commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) earlier this year culminated in the draft Chester Heritage, Museums & Visual Arts Strategy which is due to go out for wider consultation. Chester Visual Arts (CVA) was formed nine months ago by a group of likeminded business and arts leaders from across the city to address the cultural deficiencies focusing on visual arts. Geoffrey Piper, NWBLT chief executive, sits on the group and was keen to support its first development forum on 22nd September.

Final call for NW Schools Science Competition entries

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


Final call for Year 7 and Year 8 pupils to send in your applications for the North West Schools Science Competition – closing date is 6th November. The competition is open to all students in North West England (Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside). The winner will receive an iPad mini and cash for their school. All entries will receive a certificate for taking part.

To enter the competition simply email info@nwblt.co.uk on “Why I want to be a Scientist” in no more than 500 words. . Please make sure you include your name, school name and whether you are in Year 7 or Year 8.

NWBLT Chair to Address November Forum at RNCM

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

Juegen at lecturn

The next NWBLT’s Forum meeting is a panel discussion taking place on Thursday 3 November 2016 (5pm for 5.30pm) at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. This special Forum event features NWBLT Chair, Juergen Maier, and the Lever Prize 2016 winners Museum of Science and Industry for a joint project with the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, addressing the crucial importance and inter-dependence between business, culture and society in today’s challenging environment.

Following the event Forum members are invited to stay for an evening concert at RNCM at a discounted rate of £15.30 (15% off the full price) – Latin American Big Band Jazz. The RNCM Big Band lets loose with the music of some stellar Latin and jazz greats – Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, Michel Camilo, Wayne Shorter and their very own Andy Scott. To crank up the Latin influence even further, Dave Hassell is joining the party. A leading light on the UK Latin American music scene, Dave leads his own Latin band, Apitos, and he has played with an incredible array of musicians, including Dr John, Clarke Terry, Art Farmer & Charles McPherson, to name but a few…

NWBLT supports Bessemer Society’s North West Dinner

Posted & filed under Northern Powerhouse > Productivity > Science & Innovation > Events


The first Bessemer Society dinner in the North West took place last night at Manchester Town Hall. The Bessemer Society is a forum and mutual society formed of ‘serial’ CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs who are committed to creating successful new companies based on technological innovation in the fields of science and engineering. Named after Sir Henry Bessemer, the Society aims to promote his blend of technical, creative and entrepreneurial skills that are the catalyst for founding any progressive and lasting enterprise. The dinner was organised by Alex Stewart, founder of the Bessemer Society and great great grandson of Sir Henry Bessemer, with support from NWBLT.

The objective of the evening was to challenge the perception that the North West is cut off from the innovation clusters of Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, and that they are the model for the future. It was an invaluable opportunity to showcase and celebrate all that is great in the North West region. It was attended by over forty delegates and featured an inspirational presentation from Sir Robin Saxby.

2016 Schools Science Competition launched

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

Two Winners (L-R Daisy Wilson, Miliani Frazer-Fletcher

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 2016.

The best six entries from each year group will be invited to take part in a presentation event taking place at Warrington UTC on Monday 5th December and the winner of each year group will be presented with an iPad Mini and a cheque for their school. All shortlisted candidates will be filmed making their presentations and feature on the NWBLT YouTube Channel.

Shortlist of Four Announced for 2017 Lever Prize

Posted & filed under General News & Events > The Lever Prize > News

The Lever Prize minus arrows

FOUR cultural organisations from across the North West have been shortlisted for the prestigious Lever Prize 2017 which is now in its 12th 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 shortlisted organisations are:-
Chethams School of Music – Tate Liverpool – Wild Rumpus – Z Arts