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Group Board


Richard Topliss        
Board Members
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Cllr Sir Richard Leese Jane Boardman
Paul Dennett Vanda Murray OBE Emma Seldon MBE
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Mike Blackburn Cllr Arooj Shah Cllr Leanne Feeley Cllr Martyn Cox

Advisory Board

The Growth Company Board is supported by three Advisory Boards with external membership drawn from or approved by The Growth Company Board. The Advisory Boards cover the three main business areas of the organisation:

  • Workforce Development;
    • Richard Topliss (Chairman) - RBS regional managing director
    • Mark Hughes, Chief Group Executive, The Growth Company
    • Angela Harrington, Head of Work & Skills, Manchester City Council
    • Jane Hopcroft, Principal, Connell Sixth Form College
    • Janet Wilkinson, Director of Workforce, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
    • Philip Robinson, Group HR Director, Renold
    • Jennifer Woods - Consultant
    • Cllr Arooj Shah - Deputy Leader, Oldham Council
  • Business Support and Business Finance;
    • Vanda Murray, Non-Executive Director, Bunzl plc
    • Professor Julia Clarke, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Dean of Faculty of Business & Law, Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Michael Hartig, Head Of Northern Region, Barclays Corporate Banking
    • Phil Jones, Managing Director, Brother UK Limited
    • Howard Simms, CEO, Apadmi Ventures
  • Internationalisation and Marketing.
    • Iwan Griffiths (Chairman), PWC Chair for NW
    • Joanne Roney, Chief Exec, Manchester City Council 
    • Alice Choi, Chief Operating Officer, McCann Health Medical Communications and Executive Director, McCann Health Scientific Council
    • Shaun Hinds, Chief Exec, Manchester Central 
    • Adrian Ellis, Gerneral Manager, The Lowry Hotel 
    • Professor Jenny Watling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor International, Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Lou Cordwell, Founder and CEO, MagneticNorth
    • Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester 
    • Jim Taylor, Chief Exec, Salford City Council
    • Nicky Unsworth, CEO, The BJL Group
    • Richard Carter, Head UK/Ireland, BASF
    • Andrew Cowan, Chief Exec, Manchester Airport
    • Cllr Dylan Butt, Shadow Exec Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change and Opposition Spokesperson for Licensing Committee, Trafford Council
    • Mark Hughes, Chief Exec, the Growth Company 

Subsidiary Board

There are four subsidiary Boards which retain legal, compliance and other responsibilities for their respective legal entities:

  • The Enterprise Fund Ltd (trading as Business Finance Solutions);
  • Chamberlink Ltd (trading as Business Support Solutions);
  • Challenge 4 Change;
  • Marketing Manchester;


In addition, the Group Board has two sub-committees:

  • Audit;
  • Remuneration.