NWDA refreshes board with five new directors

Five new directors from the region's business and political communities have been appointed to the board of the North West Development Agency.

Peter Allen, John Brooks, Robert Hough, Cllr Tony McDermott and Cllr Susan Williams will hold their posts for three years. The appointments reflect the Government's rules for rolling replacements on regional development agency boards. The newcomers take the places of Cllr Mike Storey, Cllr Pauleen Lane, David Brockbank, John Moverley and Anil Ruia.

The posts attract salaries of £8,371 a year for a commitment of two days each month. The NWDA implements economic growth initiatives from skills training to property development and has a budget of £2.3bn in 2007-08.

The new directors' have a broad variety of backgrounds:

Peter Allen is a Cumbrian hill farmer based near Penrith. As chairman of the Sheepmeat & Goatmeat Advisory Committee to the European Union, he has been involved in reforming and implementing the European sheep regime. Allen is currently chairman of the National Farmers' Union Mutual Northern Area board and chairman of Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture.

John Brooks is the vice chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University. In his previous job at the University of Wolverhampton he chaired a regeneration project after the closure of Rover, which involved infrastructure development and small business support. He co-founded Bodycote-SHU Coatings and sits on the Oxford Road Corridor Partnership and the Universities & Colleges Employers Association.

Robert Hough is deputy chairman of Peel Holdings and a non-executive director of a number of other companies, including Cheshire Building Society, Alfred McAlpine and Provident Financial. He is on the board of the University of Manchester and a member of the North West Regional Assembly executive board, he also chairs New East Manchester, the urban regeneration company.

Cllr Tony McDermott is leader of Halton council. He is a board member of the Local Government Association Improvement & Development Agency, as well as The Mersey Partnership and the North West Improvement Network. He is also chairman of the North West Regional Transport Group.

Cllr Susan Williams was a nutritionist for the charity Action and Research into Multiple Sclerosis until 2001 and became Conservative leader of Trafford council in 2004. She is a director of Manchester Enterprises and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. In 2001, she stood for Parliament in Wythenshawe and Sale East, and in 2006 she was selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Bolton West.

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