Blackpool regeneration boss to head new Manchester quango

Jackie Potter, currently executive director of tourism and regeneration at Blackpool council, has been appointed the inaugural chief executive of Manchester City South Partnership.

The new agency launched in March tasked with driving forward the knowledge economy and creating 34,000 jobs through development of 600 acres of the university area around Oxford Road, south of Manchester city centre.

Potter is a chartered surveyor by profession and spent her early career with the Valuation Office Agency in Yorkshire until 1997. She spent four years as district valuer and valuation officer for the North West Group based in Preston and then became a director with operational responsibility for half of the organisation's national network.

Before joining Blackpool Council in 2005 she worked at Government Office for the North West as director of spatial development responsible for planning and transport policy across the North West Region.

At Blackpool council her responsibilities included leading the contribution to the physical and economic regeneration of the town, working closely with ReBlackpool urban regeneration company.

Professor Alan Gilbert, president and vice chancellor of the University of Manchester and chairman of the Manchester City South Partnership, said: "We are a unique partnership so we were looking for a chief executive with a unique set of skills. I believe we have found this in Jackie. She brings with her a wealth of experience which will prove invaluable in driving forward our ambitious plans for this important part of the city.

"We are undertaking a development programme that is massive by any standards. Our core objective is to maximise the area's contribution to the city and regional economy. With Jackie at the helm, I am confident our vision will become reality."

Commenting on her new position, Potter said: "It's a great privilege to be able to head up this exciting venture, and be associated with the jewel in the city region's economic crown. The region's future depends on a vibrant and expanding knowledge economy, so the importance of this initiative should not be underestimated."

The Manchester City South Partnership is made up of Manchester City Council, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Development Agency.

Potter lives in Preston and will take up the post in July.

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