Meet the people promoting Cheshire to the wider world.

PUBLISHED: 19:58 21 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:46 20 February 2013

Christine Gaskell MBE

Christine Gaskell MBE

It soon becomes clear to anyone going into the subject that there are some passionate<br/>people involved in promoting Cheshire to the wider world.

This article appeared in Cheshire Business Life - click here to read the FREE digital edition

It soon becomes clear to anyone going into the subject that there are some passionate people involved in promoting Cheshire to the wider world.

Whether their involvement is in the voluntary sector or on a professional level, as industrialists or native sons and daughters, the county it seems gets into the soul.


Christine Gaskell MBE:
LEP Chair

For the past 15 years Christine has been actively involved in promoting learning and skills in Cheshire. Until her retirement in autumn 2012, she was HR Director of Bentley Motors Limited, a post held since 1995 and she is now one of the New Ambassadors for Cheshire, heavily
involved in the Business Leaders Programme, and holds numerous other posts promoting Cheshire and supporting the countys business sector: for example she is North West Champion of the Apprentice Ambassadors Network and the Non-Executive Chairman of both Total People Limited, one of the regions largest work based learning providers, and
Cheshire Employer and Skills Development Ltd.

Howard Hopwood - LEP
Deputy Chair

Howard is Chairman of Harman Technology Limited, where he is also responsible for new business development. A former research chemist he has worked in the photographic business for 40 years, serving as Head of Worldwide Marketing with Ilford, the company from which Harman bought out the Black and White business area six years ago.


Edward Pysden - Chairman
Edward has been Chair of Marketing Cheshire since 2009. He qualified as a solicitor in 1972, and was eventually Senior Partner at Eversheds Manchester Office, known as a deal maker and the Northwests leading corporate finance lawyer. Between 2008 and 2009 he acted as interim Chair of Manchester Airport Group. He retired from Eversheds in 2011, but continues in other roles including consultancy work and chairing the Alternative Futures Group, a charity that provides supported living in the North West to people with complex mental and physical needs.

Chris Brown - Chief Executive
Chris Brown is Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire. His early career was in hotel management, after which he moved into place marketing with the Mersey Partnership in 1999, working ontourism and investment.

He helped set up Visit Chester and Cheshire in 2004: I worked with that until 2011 when we changed the brand to Marketing Cheshire, very similar to the model of the organisation in Liverpool as more of a place-marketing organisation. I have always had a belief that tourism
doesnt operate in a vacuum in that regard, and is part of the overall mix, so I think what we have done is integrate the various elements that make a destination successful, which includes tourism but also quality of life - and the invest agenda.

What we do is integrate those functions so they can operate in harmony rather than
in isolation.

He recognises the challenges that are ahead, identifying the collaborative nature of the efforts required: There has been a huge change in the dynamics of how destination organisations work. We are moving away from a grant culture approach so we have to work more cleverly. Partnership working will be very important going forward.


All Change for Crewe -John Lea, Chairman
John Lea is Managing Director of cerealmaker Mornflake of Crewe, a company that has its roots firmly in Cheshire with John representing the 15th generation of the family to run it! All Change for Crewe, which he chairs, recently launched a prospectus envisaging 14,500 new jobs for the area, a 20 per cent population growth by 2031, and 230 million additional retail
and leisure spending.

Make it Macclesfield - Clare Hayward, Chair
Clare is a successful entrepreneur. She has a variety of business interests including
roles as a non-executive director and an investor. Clare is very passionate about a number
of community roles which include chairing the Make it Macclesfield Economic Forum. This is focused on ensuring that Macclesfield improves its economic prosperity and being an Independent Board Member of Peaks and Plains Housing Trust.

Ellesmere Port Vision - Robert Mee, Chairman
Robert has had a 40 year career in financial services. He worked with Capital Bank, and became Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland Retail Division before choosing to leave the group in 2002. Since then he has held a wide portfolio of nonexecutive directorships.

In September 2010 he became Chairman of the new Development Board for Ellesmere Port, heading a public/ private regeneration partnership. In a voluntary capacity Robert is a Council
Member of the North of England Zoological Society Charity, which operates Chester Zoo.

Weaver Valley - Geoff Hope-Terry, Chairman
Geoff started out as an office junior with Chester City Treasury, thereafter working in various roles in industry to director level. A chartered accountant, he worked as Director of Finance at the University of Bradford and the University of Manchester, during which he set up the
Higher Education Strategic Procurement Group for Universities UK. He was a nonexecutive
director of the regional Mental Health Trust from 2006 2010, is Chair and Director of Finalysis UK Ltd, London and of North West Universities Purchasing Consortia (NWUPC) Ltd,

Chester Renaissance Steven Broomhead,
Chairman Steven is currently the interim Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council.
Professor Steven Broomhead holds the Chair of Entrepreneurial Education at Liverpool Hope University. He also is the Chief Director of Institutional Advancement at the University. In May
2011 he gave his inaugural professorial lecture Making Britain enterprising, entrepreneurial, forward wealth creating again restoring faith to the centre stage.

In 2007 the University of Chester named their new library the Broomhead Library. He is the Chairman of the North West Waterways Partnership which is advising government and British Waterways on the transition to charitable status (the Canals & Rivers Trust) in 2013. He is the non-Executive Chairman of Chester Renaissance the private/public vehicle that drives regeneration in the City of Chester.

Steven is the Non-Executive Chairman of Warrington Wolves Rugby Super League Football Club since 2009. The Wolves won the Challenge Cup in 2009 and 2010 and were Super League Winners in 2011 and are finalists in 2012. He is also a trustee of the National
Football Museum.

Peter Crompton - BE Group
Co-founder of Warrington-based property consultancy BE Group, where he is Director with responsibility for economic development, regeneration and planning.

Prior to moving into private sector consultancy in 1982, Peter was responsible for Warrington New Towns business development planning, UK and USA sales programmes, development and investment finance activities. These helped secure many of the international businesses that continue to have presence in the town.

Achievements since establishing BE Group have included advising the South Australia Government on the creation of Adelaide Technology Park, the first development in Australia; planning and establishing three of the North Wests major regional sites Chester Business
Park, Daresbury Park and Wirral International Business Park, as well as roles in the development of Kings Hill Business Park (Kent) and Stockley Park (Heathrow).

Initiatives he led on behalf of BE Group have resulted in the formation of the private-public sector partnerships of Birchwood Forum, Warrington 200+ Ltd and Warrington & Co. Peter is Chair of Birchwood Forum and Warrington & Co the latter being responsible for overseeing the physical regeneration programme for Warrington.

He is also author of the Annual Property Reports produced by BE Group on behalf of the three Cheshire & Warrington sub region local authorities.


Cheshire East Council -John Nicholson
John Nicolson is the Strategic Director for Places and Organisational Capacity. Within his role he is responsible for the regeneration and development within Cheshire East including attracting international businesses to the area and inward investment funding for major
infrastructure projects including roads, buildings and employment sites.

Cheshire West & Chester Council - Charlie Seward
LSE graduate Charlie Seward joined Cheshire West and Chester Council on its launch in 2009. He has more than 20 years experience of the regeneration field in the public, private and community sectors. As Director of Regeneration and Culture he has responsibility for a wide range of services that make a critical contribution to quality of life in the Borough.

Warrington Borough Council - Andy Farrall
Andy is Executive Director, Environment and Regeneration at Warrington Borough Council. He is leading the regeneration and economic growth programme for the Borough and a member of the Councils Senior Management Team. He leads the councils place services.

Andy took a central role in establishing Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and the Atlantic Gateway Partnership. Andy joined Warrington in July 2007 from Chester City Council were he was Strategic Director (Development).

He led the development and delivery of the Chester Renaissance Programme. Originally from North Wales, Andy presently lives in Chester.


A group of professionals whose focus is to encourage economic development in Cheshire and to improve links both within the sub-region and with neighbouring areas. For more information about Cheshire Business Leaders visit

Neville Chamberlain CBE - Chairman
Neville is a Non-Executive Director of AMEC Nuclear Holdings Ltd, a Director of the US based Energy Strategists Consulting Ltd, and Chairman of Structure Vision Ltd. Locally, he is Chairman of Cheshire Business Leaders and a Trustee of The North of England Zoological
Society which owns and operates Chester Zoo. Previous roles include chairing the North West Business Leadership Team, the North West Regional Partnership, The Northern Way and the TEC National Council. Neville has also served on the Board of the Northwest Regional
Development Agency. He is a passionate Northerner! and a keen ambassador for Cheshire and Warrington.

Executive - Paul Taylor
Paul is Managing Director of Taylor Business Park and a director of LiveWire CIC who provide all of the leisure, library and lifestyle services in Warrington. He is currently serving on the independent remuneration panel for Warrington Borough Council and is the local business
representative on the Warrington East neighbourhood board.

Born and raised in Glazebury, Paul is passionate about Cheshire and Warrington and aims to work with likeminded companies, charities, individuals ansd organisations to make Warrington
and Cheshire an even better place to live and work.

Executive - David Pickering
Born and bred a farmer near Chester, David is a Chartered Accountant, entrepreneur, golfer and cyclist who is a serving member of Council with the University of Chester and with Chester
Zoo. He is also a social entrepreneur, who has raised many thousands of pounds for the Hospice, a scanner and the Cathedral by running the New York Marathon and cycling from Rome to Chester.

Executive - Philip Martin
Philip is the owner-operator of the luxury Green Bough Hotel in Chester. He began his career as a trainee chef at the Savoy Hotel in London, going on to hold various senior posts in the catering industry. An expert in the visitor economy, Philip is currently Vice-Chairman of Chester and Cheshire Hotels Association, and was previously a director of Visit Chester and
Cheshire. Dedicated to the development of tomorrows workforce he is a governor of West Cheshire College and director of Cheshire Private Sector Skills Board.

Nigel Schofield
Trained as an economist Nigel held senior commercial positions at Thorn EMI, Manchester Airport and BAe Commercial Aircraft before setting up his own travel company, now a significant travel group. A believer in public-private partnerships he holds several board positions on bodies like the Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Warrington & Co, Macclesfield Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and is President of Warrington Chamber of
Commerce and Industry. He is also on Alderley Edge Parish Council.

Professor Tim Wheeler of The University of Chester
Professor Wheeler who has been based in Cheshire since 1998, first as Principal and
then Vice Chancellor of The University of Chester, is a key figure in the sub-regions
educational scene, involved with the LEP,

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