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Times North Business Forums


"The Times forums brings together industry experts, academics and politicians to discuss  a range of topics relating to a sector, region or industry. As well as our featured videos, each forum is reported in full in the following edition of the Times Business Insight North"

Times forum Chair Alasdair Nimmo


Alasdair Nimmo Times Forum Chair

A specially convened Forum on devolution to Super North status, organised by The Times and held at Liverpool Town Hall, with a panel of true political heavyweights in all senses of the term – Lord Prescott and Joe Anderson, Liverpool’s mayor, being just two.


Chaired by Magnus Linklater CBE, The Times

Lord Prescott

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool

Tony Reeves, Local government advisory partner, Deloitte

Cllr Simon Henig, Durham County Council

Cllr David Green, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

The Times Business Forum met to assess the significance of the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow and Scotland.


Chaired by Angus Macleod, editor of The Times Scotland

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

David Coyne, Head of Economic Development, Glasgow City Council

Professor Lorne Crerar, Chairman, Harper Macleod

Sarah Deas, Director, Glasgow Legacy, Scottish Enterprise

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive, Glasgow 2014

Afzal Khushi CBE, Director, Trespass

Douglas Nisbet, Partner, EY

Tommy Mitchell, Technical Director, NVT Group

Ian Reid, Chief Financial Officer, Glasgow 2014

Professor Lesley Sawers, Vice Principal & Pro Vice Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University 

The Times Business Forum met to discuss the co-operative model as an alternative to the existing shareholder-led PLC one.


Chaired by Magnus Linklater CBE

Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives UK

Angela Davies, Business Development Manager, The Co-operative Enterprise Hub

Bob Cannell, Suma Workers' Co-operative

Dave Boyle, Consultant, Principal Six

Dave Boston, Schools Co-operative Society

Britta Werner, Unicorn Grocery Workers' Co-operative

Peter Couchman, The Plunkett Foundation

Ian Rothwell, Co-operative and Community Finance

Kevin Marquis, Sustainable Enterprise Strategies

The Times Business Forum hosted a lively discussion on a Cumbrian future that could well see a wide range of fuel sources.


Chaired by Magnus Linklater CBE

Steve Szostak, Chief Executive, Britain's Energy Coast Cumbria

Rory O'Neill, Sellafield

Gary McKeating, Head of Socioeconomics, Nuclear Management Partners

Lesley Bowen, Chief Executive, Centre for Leadership Performance

Nigel Couzens, Chair, Britain's Energy Coast Campus

Peter Frost-Pennington, Muncaster Castle

Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council

Alan Smith, Leader, Allerdale Borough Council

Elaine Woodburn, Leader, Copeland Borough Council

The Times Business Forum focuses on Cheshire and Warrington LEP.

Chaired by Magnus Linklater CBE

Christine Gaskell MBE, Deputy Lieutenant, Chair of the Cheshire & Warrington LEP

Robert P Davis, CIM, Deputy Lieutenant, Chief Executive Officer, EA Technology Ltd

Louise Morrissey, Director, Peel Holdings Land and Property

Chris Baker, Chief Officer, Learning Together Cheshire and Warrington

Julian Cobley, Head of Technical Strategy and Planning, Cheshire East Council

Carol Holden, Chief Executive, Northwest Automotive Alliance

Aiden Manley, Managing Director, Cheshire and Warrington LEP

Dr Geoff Davidon, Chief Executive, Bionow

Edward Pysden, Chairman, Marketing Cheshire

Andy Farrell, Executive Director, Warrington Borough Council

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Council

The Times Business Forum sets out to tackle issues such as retaining talented youth, attracting more high-tech engineering companies and high-speed broadband rollout.

Chaired by Alasdair Nimmo of The Times

Greig Rooney, Site Director, GlaxoSmithKline

Wayne Singleton, Human Resources Manager, Siemens Tronic

John Woodcock, Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness

Marjorie Pickthall, Director of Furness training at Furness College

Al Mather, from the Centre of Leadership Performance

Harry Knowles, CEO, Furness Enterprise

Cllr Peter Thornton, leader of South Lakeland District Council

Peter Cotterill, Managing Director, Oxley Developments

The Times Business Forum discusses why Widnes is the place to be, and consider its great new position smack in the middle of Liverpool Region's SuperPort scheme.

Chaired by Jim Hancock

David Parr, CEO, Halton Borough Council

Mark Basnett, Executive Director, Liverpool City Region LEP

Andrew Tinkler, CEO, Stobart Group

Richard Butler, CEO of the estates division, Stobart Group

Councillor Rob Polhill, Halton Borough Council

Susan Williams, Executive Director, Atlantic Gateway

Gary Hodgson, Managing Director, Mersey Ports

Matt Thomas, Commercial Director, Vantage Airport Group

Ian Higby, Managing Director, Atlantic Container Line UK

As the Red Rose county enjoys a boom in advanced manufacturing, our forum asks key players to anticipate what the future holds.

Chaired by Edwin Booth

Mike Tynan, Chief Executive, Westinghouse UK

Martin Wright, Chief Executive, North West Aerospace Alliance

Professor Margaret Bruce, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire

Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council

Dave Holmes, Director, BAE Systems

Our forum looks at the Knowledge Economy's potential to deliver a total transformation of Liverpool City region.

Chaired by Alasdair Nimmo of The Times

Professor Susan Smith, Head of Darsbury Laboratory

Kevin McManus, Head of Digital and Creative, Liverpool Vision

Alan Welby, Executive Director, Liverpool Enterprise Partnership

Chris Musson, CEO, Liverpool Science Park

Alex Clarkson, CEO, Diagnostic Capital

Ian Rowland, Head of Research and Development, Grant Thornton Accountants

David Parr, Chief Executive, Halton Council

Dr Penny Attridge, Senior Investment Director, Spark Impact

Wayne Locke, Director, Ashtenne

Dr Peter Jackson, Executive Chairman, Redx Pharma

With the UK football industry now facing new challenges in the form of Financial Fair Play rulings, the Times North's forum on the business of football could not have been more timely.

Chaired by Philip Wilson

Lee Hoos, Chief Executive, Burnley Football Club

Dan Jones, Head of Sports Business, Deloitte

Allan Duckworth, former Chief Executive of Bolton Wanderers Football Club

Trevor Watkins, Partner, Pinsent Masons

Dr Alexander Roy, Head of Research, New Economy

Rachel Combie, Director of Strategic Marketing, Marketing Manchester

When the great and good of the city gathered for a Times North forum they spoke with one voice.

Chaired by Magnus Linklater CBE

Sir Howard Bernstein

Mike Emmerich, CEO, New Economy

Mike Blackburn, Chairman, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Tim Newns, CEO, MIDAS

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