Andrew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester, is set to depart after 17 years with the agency, as the organisation undergoes a restructuring that will see new senior roles created and a focus on a wider range of sectors across the city.
Marketing Manchester is the agency charged with promoting Manchester on the national and international stage. As part of the Manchester Growth Company, Marketing Manchester undertakes marketing and communications on behalf of the group, and co-ordinates the Manchester at MIPIM partnership.
Stokes has spent the last 14 years as chief executive. He is due to leave the organisation by the end of the year, to pursue consultancy roles focusing on tourism and place-making.
While at Marketing Manchester, Stokes worked on a number of significant projects including the Commonwealth Games in 2002, the reinvention of the annual Pride festival, major political conferences and Manchester Airport’s route development and marketing strategy. He also sat on the boards of the Manchester International Festival and Manchester Central.
Marketing Manchester is currently undergoing a restructuring with a view to aligning the organisation with the wider priorities of the Manchester Growth Company, encompassing a wider range of sectors.
A number of senior marketing roles are being advertised on the Manchester Growth Company website, including head of business tourism, head of marketing, head of sector marketing, and services marketing director.
Earlier this month Mark Coleman, communications manager at Marketing Manchester, left to join property and regeneration specialist agency Social Communications in Sale. A replacement is yet to be appointed.
In a statement, Stokes said: “Recent years have been challenging in the areas of both public and private sector funding. It is a testament to the excellent work that Marketing Manchester does, that we have been able to maintain a successful and sustainable programme of private sector funded activity during this period. Indeed, we have seen growth. I am pleased to have helped with the transition into the next phase of Marketing Manchester’s development within the Manchester Growth Company.
“Here, it will continue the excellent work it has undertaken in place marketing and will begin a new focus, encompassing a wider range of sectors and Manchester Growth Company initiatives. I feel that with this new beginning, it is the right time to pass the reins and challenge onto someone new. I will however be around for a while, as I am not leaving until the end of the year.”