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

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

Chief Executive’s Blog

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Northern Powerhouse > Productivity

Geoffrey Piper

‘May you live in interesting times’ is widely believed to be an ancient Chinese curse (although I understand it is in fact neither ancient nor Chinese, being recent and western). It does however feel highly pertinent given the events of the last couple of months – particularly in view of our new relationship with the EU (whatever that may be) and the wider global horizons on which we are now inevitably focusing increased attention.

The British people ‘spoke’ on June 23, and in so doing presented the business community with many challenges. This is not only a crucial time for our Government and their advisers, it is also a testing time for business leaders, many of whom will be faced with critical strategic decisions in the months and years ahead.

Click on Chief Executive’s Blog above to read full article, as published in the Manchester Evening News and Greater Manchester Business Week.

Death of His Grace The Duke of Westminster

Posted & filed under General News & Events > News

His Grace The Dike of Westminster

The North West Business Leadership Team is extremely sad to note the sudden death of His Grace the Duke of Westminster KG CB CVO OBE TD CD DL in Lancashire on 9 August 2016. His Grace served as the Chairman of NWBLT from 1990 to 1997 inclusive and played a key role in establishing the reputation of the organisation throughout the region and nationally as well as initiating and leading a number of successful investment projects in the North West. Our thoughts are with Her Grace The Duchess of Westminster and all their family at this very sad time.

September Forum meeting to discuss Science and Energy

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

thornton science park

The next Forum meeting is taking place at the Thornton Science Park (5pm for 5.30pm) on 29th September and will debate the way forward for the North West’s scientific research and energy sectors, in the context of the post-Brexit environment. The panel will include Emma Degg (Policy Advisor, NWBLT), Myles Kitcher (Managing Director, Peel Environmental) and Paul Vernon (Chief Executive, Thornton Science Park)

NWBLT hosts House of Commons lunch to discuss BREXIT

Posted & filed under General News & Events


Following Prime Minister’s Questions on the first Wednesday after the momentous Brexit vote, NWBLT hosted a well attended cross-party lunch for North West MPs.

On this occasion our Parliamentary host was Ivan Lewis MP who spoke passionately on the need to reach out to a disillusioned electorate who, particularly in the North, had voiced their discontent more clearly than ever. Never has there been a better time for our region to speak up for our communities and show the kind of leadership which NWBLT is able to provide.

Lord O’Neill joins NWBLT Roundtable discussion at IFB2016

Posted & filed under General News & Events > Events > News > Northern Powerhouse > Productivity

Lord ONeill

At the International Festival for Business 2016 in Liverpool the North West Business Leadership Team today agreed a plan to help deliver the economic ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse. The discussion was held at the request of the IFB2016 leadership and comes at a crucial time in the development of the North. It provided a significant opportunity for business leaders to help shape the future of this important agenda.

Forty business leaders attended the landmark event with the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Jim O’Neill, the Government Minister responsible for City devolution and the North. The business leaders endorsed a series of priority actions, all underpinned by the transport improvements planned by Transport for the North.