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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
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Mike Blackburn Iwan Griffiths
Cllr Arooj Shah Cllr Leanne Feeley

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;
    • Professor David Spicer, Dean of Salford Business School
    • 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
  • 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
    • Simon Allport, Senior Partner North West, Ernst and Young
    • 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, North West Chairman, PWC
    • Lou Cordwell, CEO, Magnetic North
    • Ken O'Toole, CCO, Manchester Airport
    • Chris Davies, COO, PZ Cussons
    • Richard Farnell, Leader of the Council, Rochdale MBC
    • Luke Georghiou, Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Manchester

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.