Greater Manchester Leaders Plus


The 2024 programme is live!

You can see current candidates here and mentors here. To find out more, apply or nominate a colleague for Round 6 in 2025, please get in touch

Leaders Plus is for people already in leadership roles and is designed to help participants manage increased risk and responsibility. It aims to:

  • Build skills and confidence in team leadership, stakeholder relations and change management.
  • Help translate theoretical leadership best practice into real-world use, especially for place strategy and delivery.
  • Provide a safe space to discuss the difficult questions arising in senior roles.
  • Build candidates’ peer and senior networks across organisations and sectors.

These goals are delivered through a blend of mentoring, leadership skills, expert insight, strategy-focused field trips and networking. The nine-month programme culminates in participants presenting a personal proposal for tackling a key urban challenge to an audience of mentors, senior course presenters and sector experts.

Who is it for?

Cross-sector leaders on the journey toward top roles and already running extensive teams or stakeholder relationships. Candidates can be involved in any aspect of placemaking and should be seeking the insight, knowledge and networks to play a meaningful role in our cities’ future.

What do candidates gain?

  • Enhanced leadership skills to inspire teams, build trust & navigate complexity.
  • The increased confidence and authority to influence others, to tackle unexpected challenges and to win over stakeholders at all levels.
  • Exposure to fresh perspectives and tools that foster innovative thinking.
  • A confidential and supportive environment to test or develop ideas.
  • The knowledge, insight and support of a diverse range of peers, professionals and a personal mentor, all of whom share their commitment to the future of Greater Manchester.
  • An expanded senior network across organisations and sectors – within the cohort, with mentors, in the thriving GM cross-sector scene & across the UK via Future of London’s 4,200-strong network.

How do candidates learn?

  • Facilitated skills-development workshops in small groups
  • Expert insights and a chance to question sector leaders in Chatham House seminars
  • Relevant workshops & field trips, combined with classroom time for an average
  • Peer-led discussion, visits and presentations, including the final Proposal for Greater Manchester
  • Confidential mentoring from senior leaders outside their organisations, for support and resources
  • Structured reflection and connection to a wider programme of events

See who’s come through the course since 2021 here.

“This programme is critical for developing GM’s senior talent pool. The [candidates’ year-end] Proposals for GM were top-class, and I hope we can go from strength to strength.” – Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority & Transport for GM (Programme champion, sponsor & mentor)

“This course has been invaluable. It has come at the right time in my career and given me much-needed direction, skills and a network I never knew I needed. Having a course where you take something away to put into practice every time is very rare. This is a gem.” – Heather Coombs, Strategic Manager – Buildings & Facilities, Wigan Council (2022 grad)

“I was looking for opportunities to meet with people at a similar level in other organisations. I hoped there would be genuine opportunities to discuss how leadership theory applied in practice with experienced leaders and with peers on the course. This was definitely provided!” – Amy Beasley, Service Manager (Place), Stockport Council (2021 grad)

“Materials are excellent, very clear and timely. I find the suggested reading really interesting and it sets up the course day. There is a combination of being friendly and professional that I think keeps the group and topics moving and sitting together comfortably.” – Carl Moore, Head of Home Ownership & Supply (NW), Homes England (2020 grad)

“Leaders Plus was a fantastic experience and undoubtedly supported my career development. The course and continuing opportunities as an alumnus supercharged my network and the connections I’ve made across sectors and disciplines have without doubt supported greater understanding, best practice and better project delivery. Leaders also became vital to the development offer for my top talent, supporting quality, staff retention and progression.” – Tom Bridgman, Executive Director of Development, Oxford City Council (LDN Leaders Plus 2016, course nominator)

GM Leaders Plus is kindly supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Trowers & Hamlins, Arup, which also hosts classroom sessions, and Hatch, which invited us to Manchester to start this journey in 2017.