Business Leadership Forum


Forum at BBC, MediaCityUK 

The Business Leadership Forum is organised by the NWBLT, and brings together representatives of large and small businesses, education and research institutions, and the public and voluntary sectors from throughout North West England, to debate issues of strategic importance to the well being of the region and its citizens.

Regular meetings take place throughout the year featuring a leading speaker or panel on a topic of broad interest or concern to our members, who are then provided with the opportunity to ask questions or make observations of their own in a relaxed and open environment.

Katy Gearing from the Royal Society

Presentation have included the Royal Society’s future development plans, the contribution of MediaCityUK to the North West’s economy, an arts & culture discussion and transport panel.  Tours have also taken place at Contact Theatre, Fab Labs, BBC at MediaCityUK and at the Virtual Reality Centre at the Hartree Centre, Daresbury.


Transport panel at Virgin Trains including Dr Pete Waterman





Annual membership of NWBLF is open to any individual or organisation with a bona fide interest in the well-being of the region, and currently costs £300 per annum. This entitles each member to attend all the monthly meetings, together with a colleague or guest if they wish. 

If you are interested in becoming a member of Business Leadership Forum please contact  Ann Sollars on 01925 212078 or by e-mail to

Forum meeting dates for 2017:-

Thursday 27  July (10.30am – 12.30pm) at Lancaster University –  a roundtable discussion on Energy hosted by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) for more information please email 

Thursday 19 October (5pm start)  at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Comments about past Forum meetings:-

“Just to say how much I enjoyed last night’s event.  In our business we spend a lot of time discussing how we respond and get on in a world with the ever increasing pace of change.  Last night’s meeting really reiterated how that pace of change continues to accelerate.  It left me both scared and excited in equal measures!  I could not help but be impressed with what the BBC have done at Media City and the undoubted huge enthusiasm of their people.  It was truly inspiring.”  Kevin Crotty, Chief Financial Officer, Bruntwood

“Fabulous workshop with in the mighty Salford, courtesy of .Some seriously cool stuff heading your way citizens.” Tweeted by Tim Griggs

“Thoroughly enjoyed building up a head of STEAM debate. What next? Thanks  Tweeted by Esme Ward, Head of Learning and Engagement, the Whitworth and Manchester Museum

“Excellent event tonight at the stunning Eaton Park in Cheshire, discussing Arts & Business, and philanthropy. Interesting & inspiring”.  Tweeted by Nina Lockwood, Intuitive Interim & Executive Search 
“Great to hear more about at the @ event last night at United Utilities” .  Tweeted by Penta Hotels, Warrington
“Discovered @fablabmcr thanks to @NWBLT Forum.  Great place where people play with stuff, garner stuff, make things that could be manufactured”.   Tweeted by Jonti Dalal-Small
“Congratulations to the team on setting up the last Forum meeting at AZ. I thought the speakers and debate were excellent and contributed significantly to your emerging ‘thought leadership’ role”. Ian Ruff, Economic Strategy Consultant
“Fascinating to hear about Unilever’s approach to open innovation. True globalisation & leadership.” Tweeted by Steve Bennett, TransitionPlus
“How much I enjoyed yesterday’s Forum at ShopDirect. Mark Newton-Jones and his colleagues were truly inspirational and I was left with the impression of a firm that has strategic innovation at its heart, is totally connected with customers,  staff,  suppliers and the community and all in all is a great example of top class leadership”. Andrew Pal, Beyond Results

Forum Members

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Steve Bennett Managing Director TransitionPlus Ltd
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Rachel Birkbeck The British Council
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Edwin Booth Chairman E H Booth & Co


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Mike Callery Transport Consultant
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Paul Cammaerts Corporate Partnerships Royal National Institute of the Blind
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D Chapman NJSR Architects
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Ian Clowes Photographer


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Bill Derbyshire Environment Agency


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Luna Frank-Riley Director Matrix Management


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Ray Gridley Chief Officer Age Concern Manchester


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Tim Harrison
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Anna Heyes Managing Director Active Profile Ltd
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Mr Ray Howard Chief Executive Hillyer McKeown LLP
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Eric Hudson Senior Consultant Region Plus


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Mr Daniel John Head of New Client Development Marsh Ltd
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Emma Jones Director Redbrick Enterprises Ltd


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Jane Luca Manager, Regional Affairs ITV


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Paul Mawdsley Managing Director The Mawdsley Consultancy Ltd
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Fran McArthur
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G K Medlock OBE Transport Consultant