Banker picked to steer city agencies

Richard Topliss RBSRBS regional managing director Richard Topliss has been appointed to chair the Manchester Growth Company, a newly formed organisation that overarches the influential 'Manchester family' of Midas, New Economy, Marketing Manchester and Economic Solutions.

Topliss has been based in the North West since 2000, originally running the corporate and commercial banking division of RBS in North Lancashire and Cumbria. He is responsible for a team of 328 staff, looking after businesses with turnover in excess of £2m across the North of England and North Wales.

He has advised Manchester City Council on funding is an active member of the CBI council in the North West and the North West Business Leadership Team.

Topliss said: "I take this responsibility with a deep sense of personal commitment and I am keen to ensure that we do everything it takes to keep Greater Manchester on an upward trajectory and to maximise its potential as the economic powerhouse of the North. I'm looking forward to working with the board to support the objectives of MGC and hope my professional experience – particularly my business insight into the North West – can bring a unique perspective to the tasks that will lie ahead."

Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and vice chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "As a city and a region, we have two pressing tasks ahead of us. One is encouraging the conditions for growth and job creation. The other is ensuring our residents have the skills and confidence to access those jobs. The Manchester Growth Company has a big part to play, especially in the former, and Richard Topliss brings a wealth of experience and insight to his new role."

The group chief executive of the Manchester Growth Company is Mark Hughes, former head of the North West Development Agency before it was abolished. Manchester Growth Company is based at Churchgate & Lee House in Oxford Street.

Hughes added: "Richard brings a wealth of expertise to this position and we look forward to working with him in driving forward our priorities on behalf of the Greater Manchester Strategy."

In addition to the newly appointed chairman, the MGC board comprises of Cllr Kieran Quinn (Tameside), Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart, Cllr Richard Farnell (Rochdale), Cllr Sean Anstee (Trafford), Mike Blackburn (regional director of BT and chairman of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership), Phil Cusack (business development director, Capita), Iwan Griffiths (North West Chairman, PwC), David McKeith (chairman, GM Chamber), Michael Oglesby (chairman, Bruntwood).

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