CitySession: Salford – New Frontiers

Date: - 10:00
Organiser: CityCo
Location: 9th Floor, Embankment West Tower, 101 Cathedral Approach, M3 7FB

Salford is seeing huge investment in new homes, new infrastructure, new offices, even a new Royal Horticultural Society garden.

How can the city maximise this investment for all and what are the new frontiers for development, transport, technology, culture and society?

At this tipping point of change in the region, what is Salford’s role in Greater Manchester, the North West and the UK as a whole?

CityCo is pleased to present a panel of four speakers who are fundamental in exploring these new frontiers. The setting is the ninth floor of the stunning Embankment West Tower.

John Hughes – managing director, Ask Real Estate

John has almost 20 years’ development experience, the majority of which has been gained during his time at Ask, delivering highly complex, city centre office, leisure and retail projects. John joined the Board and became a shareholder in 2008 and has worked closely with some of Ask’s key strategic partners including Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Network Rail. He leads on the company’s flagship scheme at First Street, where in April 2015 the major phase of leisure development totalling 500,000 sq. ft. including HOME, INNSIDE hotel were completed. In addition to the First Street development, John took Ask into joint venture with Carillion, Tristan Capital Partners and Network Rail to deliver the 600,000 sq. ft. mixed-use scheme at Embankment in Greengate, Salford, the location for this Frontiers Event.

Stephen Wild – managing director, Peel Media

MediaCityUK is a key strategic project for the Peel Group and the Creative, Digital and Technology sector in the UK and in 2015 became a partnership between Peel and Legal & General. MediaCityUK has risen to be the leading creative and digital destination in the North of England since its inception in 2008. It is now home to many leading corporate companies and Universities, including BBC, ITV, University of Salford, Bupa and SIS, in excess of 250 small enterprises and a wide range of skills and training providers.

Stephen has been a member of the Peel Group since 2006 and was appointed Managing Director of MediaCityUK in 2009 and since that time has been responsible for the strategy operations and partnerships at MediaCityUK.

Stephen works closely with the public sector partners and the education bodies in relation to the provision of skills and training and initiatives to support the future success of MediaCityUK.

Stephen is also a governor of the MediaCityUK University Technical College, focusing on enhancement of digital skills.

Julia Fawcett OBE – chief executive, The Lowry Theatre

Julia Fawcett is the chief executive of The Lowry, one of the largest performance and visual arts centres in the UK. Appointed in June 2002, Julia is responsible for ensuring the artistic and commercial success of the Centre.

Since she joined The Lowry, visitor numbers have risen steadily – with over 820,000 people currently passing through the doors each year – making The Lowry one of the most popular visitor attractions in the North west of England.

Prior to joining The Lowry, Julia was the chief executive of Dynamic Earth Enterprises Ltd in Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s largest visitor attractions. She also spent ten years at Granada Group Plc, running a number of their commercial assets.

The University of Salford conferred an honorary doctorate on Julia in 2008 and, in 2010, she received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

Paul Dennett – Salford City Mayor, elected May 2016

Paul was born in Warrington, qualified University with a BA (Hons) in International Business, an MSc in Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations and MRES Research in Social Sciences. An active Trade Unionist he was elected Councillor for Langworthy in 2012. Served as Strategic Assistant Mayor between 2012-16, focusing on equalities, cohesion, technology and change, urban transformation and workforce issues (his portfolio expanded including innovation, prosperity and growth).

Paul has a long history of campaigning on social issues, including equalities, financial inclusion, living wage campaign, social value and antipoverty.

Since becoming City Mayor, has emphasised the importance of housing, jobs and equalities. In July 2016, Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Low Carbon, Waste and Environment.

The conversation will be chaired by journalist Jonathan Schofield. Jonathan has been registered Blue Badge Guide since 1996 and is the Editor-at-Large of Manchester Confidential, the city’s largest independent magazine. He is also the editor of Manchester Books Limited and has written several books on the North West. He is a regular broadcaster on local and national radio. He is also a public speaker, a town and city identity consultant and a freelance writer on tourism, architecture, public art, history and food and drink, and is the official guide for the world famous Manchester International Festival.


8am Registration and breakfast

8.30am Welcome by Jonathan Schofield and introduction to panellists

9am Panel discussion

9.45am Q&A

10am Event closes

10am – 10.20am The Long View by Jonathan Schofield

In addition to the above programming, Jonathan will be offering a special ‘four window’ view from the venue directly after the main event. Anyone who wishes to stay can expect a unique insight into landmarks from the vantage point of Embankment West Tower.

Please RSVP

This event is free. To register please click here by Thursday 16 February to reserve your space.

Please note that due to the nature of these events CityCo Member places are guaranteed. Non-Members will be welcomed on first-come, first-served basis. When registering for more than one place, please remember to enter each guest with a unique email address. Thank you.

For enquiries, please email Janine at