Greater Manchester Leaders Plus: Proposals for Greater Manchester

As a fitting close to 2020, candidates from the first round of Greater Manchester Leaders Plus presented three ambitious Proposals for Greater Manchester to an invited audience of sponsors, course contributors, colleagues, nominators and London alumni. These personal pitches for change are adapted from the timed ‘Pecha Kucha’ style and all done online.

Having embarked on GM Leaders Plus in January 2020, candidates made the switch to a virtual format, adapting quickly to an online learning environment and supporting each other through the various challenges presented last year.

Candidates used their combined sector knowledge, leadership experience, passion and presentation skills to deliver excellent presentations and engage in lively Q&A and discussion with audience members.

Although all GM Leaders Plus candidates completed the executive-level leadership modules, “Covid-onset” workloads meant not everyone was in a position to prepare and present a Proposal. Still, the cohort has stayed connected and continues to engage on matters affecting their network. The Future of London team looks forward to visiting Greater Manchester to congratulate and reconnect with candidates in person once it is safe to do so.

Nominations for GM Leaders Plus Round 2 are open until Jan 29th, and the course starts Feb 25th. To find out more or nominate a candidate, contact Executive Director Lisa Taylor. Read more about the course here.

Proposals for Greater Manchester 2020

Marc Watterson, Associate – Planning Policy & Economics, Arup
A Call to Green

Manchester City Centre’s population has grown rapidly over the years, and with more than 12,000 homes under construction, that growth will continue – more than 100,000 new residents are expected by 2025. This proposal explores how to use existing spaces in the city centre to best serve that growing population – considering contributions to mental wellbeing, air quality, exercise and other activity, walking and cycling, climate change and biodiversity, and thereby maximising quality of life.

Joint presentation from Andy Jackson, Associate – Infrastructure, Arup and Phillipa Nazari, Assistant Director Information Governance & Data Protection Officer, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

The Greater Manchester Placemaking Data Trust

This Proposal delves into how a Greater Manchester data trust could drive timely and insightful access to data to maximise the value of developing places across the city-region. Building places to reach the GM Strategy ambitions requires lots of information and data. Much of this data already exists across a myriad of organisations – local, national, public, private – but is rarely easy to get at. The GM Placemaking Data Trust would enable collective data-sharing from public and private sources in a managed way.

Joe Conmee, Town Centre Regeneration Programme Manager, Stockport Council
Overcoming Barriers: Unlocking Potential

Creating a viable future for our town centres has never been more important. The long-term challenges towns face have only been exacerbated by COVID which has made us rethink preconceptions about how places function and thrive. In Greater Manchester, our town centres are vital for achieving our growth ambitions. They provide opportunities for our residents, profoundly influence health and sustainability agendas, and shape our culture and identities. Sustained town centre development is exceptionally difficult but place-making professionals have a common interest in seeing our town centres succeed – and now’s the time to start working together differently to make that happen.


Congratulations to all GM Leaders Plus candidates!

  • Darren Ashworth, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Joe Conmee, Town Centre Regeneration Programme Manager, Stockport Council
  • Angela Harrington, Head of Work & Skills, Manchester City Council
  • John Herring, Strategic Lead for Organisational Development, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
  • Andy Jackson, Associate – Infrastructure, Arup
  • Shefali Kapoor, Head of Neighbourhoods, Manchester City Council
  • Sarah Lowes, Major Planning Projects Manager, Trafford Council
  • Carl Moore, Head of Home Ownership & Supply (North West), Homes England
  • Phillipa Nazari, Assistant Director Information Governance & Data Protection Officer, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Phil Rimmer, Assistant Director – Revenues, Benefits & Customer Services, Bolton Council
  • Helen Walters, Town Centre Manager, Stockport Council
  • David Watson, Associate Director, Hatch
  • Marc Watterson, Associate – Planning Policy & Economics, Arup
  • John Wrathmell, Director of Strategy & Research, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Thanks to all of the GM Leaders Plus mentors for switching to virtual mentoring and for their time, energy and support:

  • Suzanne Benson, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Cym D’Souza, Chief Executive, Arawak Walton
  • Marcus Fisher, Director, Civic Projects
  • Stephen Gleave, Regional Cities Director – North, AECOM
  • Ricardo Gomez, Director, Hatch
  • Jane Healey Brown, Associate Director – Planning, Arup
  • Warren Heppolette, Executive Lead for Strategy & System Development, Greater Manchester Health & Care Partnership
  • Becca Heron, Director – Economy & Skills, Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Nabeel Khan, Director – Enterprise, Jobs & Skills, London Borough of Lambeth
  • Simon Nokes, Executive Director – Policy & Strategy, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Nicola Rigby, Director – Planning, Development & Regeneration, Avison Young
  • Sara Saleh, Corporate Director of People, Trafford Council
  • Caroline Simpson, Director of Place, Stockport Council
  • Mike Wilton, Director & Leader of Manchester Office, Arup

Leaders Plus is sponsored by Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Hatch, Arup and Trowers & Hamlins. The senior-level programme provides candidates already in leadership roles with resources to manage increasing risk and responsibility. Key elements include: individually-matched mentors, insights from expert speakers and executive-level leadership workshops. Find out more here.