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

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

Posted & filed under General News & Events

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

Posted & filed under General News & Events

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.

North West Business Manifesto calls for Science and Skills to spearhead growth

Posted & filed under General News & Events

Members of the North West Business Leadership Team

The North West Business Leadership Team has launched its manifesto for the region, ‘Priming the Powerhouse – A Business Manifesto for England’s North West’. The manifesto brings together the input of 30 of the region’s most significant businesses alongside input from regional policy makers and Members of Parliament.
The manifesto calls for the North West’s world-class science base to be bolstered and for dramatic improvements to regional skills levels in order to drive economic growth. The Team also welcomes the Northern Powerhouse proposals and Greater Manchester devolution agreement and sees the whole North West benefiting from major investments in strategic transport infrastructure. Stronger collaboration across the Pennines offers scope for further economic growth throughout the North of England.

The NWE2 Model starts its Regional Tour at RBS Manchester

Posted & filed under General News & Events

2nd image

Following its successful appearance at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool last Summer the North West Energy Squared (NWE2) Model has started its tour of the rest of the Region. It is a 3.5 x 1.5 metre physical, interactive model of the North West which includes a video with a voice over commentary explaining its objectives to examine the possibility of building connected tidal gateways throughout the region.

The Model is due to be located at RBS, Spinningfields in Manchester from 2nd March to 6th April when it is open for viewing by the public. There will be a number of VIP viewings organised for interested parties.

2015 Lever Prize Trophy Presented to Manchester Museum

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

Lever Prize Image 1

Manchester Museum’s Director Nick Merriman was presented with the Lever Prize trophy, following the Museum’s recent win of the prestigious Lever Prize 2015. The trophy was presented by Juergen Maier, Managing Director of Siemens Industry UK and Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team at a special reception held in the Museum’s Living Worlds Gallery. The event, held on 5th February, was attended by senior leaders from the arts and business sectors in the region, as well as senior figures from the University of Manchester.

The Lever Prize also comes with a cheque for £10,000 and the opportunity for the Museum to collaborate on partnership programmes with some of the region’s most influential businesses during its winning year.