Nuala Gallagher Liverpool City Council p Liverpool City Council

Nuala Gallagher has been appointed corporate director of city development at Liverpool City Council. Credit: via Liverpool City Council

Nuala Gallagher appointed Liverpool development boss 

The city council has hired Limerick Council’s director of planning, environment, and placemaking to take over from Mark Bourgeois, who has held the position on an interim basis since last year. 

Nuala Gallagher will take on the role of corporate director of city development at the end of March.

In her new position, Gallagher will lead a 300-strong team in overseeing planning, property and asset management, investment strategy, skills, adult learning, and environmental and sustainability policies.

She has held similar roles at Bristol City Council, Belfast City Council, and London Borough of Newham.

Between 2010 and 2012, Gallagher was a project director at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Brooklyn, New York. 

There, she led a sustainable community development project in Cypress Hills that included brownfield regeneration, land assembly, and design development. 

While at Newham, Gallagher was involved in the regeneration of Canning Town, Custom House, Lea Valley, Stratford, and Royal Docks as part of the London Olympic Games legacy initiative. 

Her background in placemaking also includes her current role as a board member of property development company Limerick Twenty Thirty. She is also a registered architect.

Liverpool City Council has been searching for a long-term replacement in the lead development role since former director of regeneration Nick Kavanagh was sacked in 2021. 

Mark Bousfield held the position for a year between January 2021 and 2022 before Mark Bourgeois was drafted in.

Bourgeois, the former managing director of UK and Ireland at Hammerson, will depart later this year, paving the way for Gallagher’s arrival.

Theresa Grant, interim chief executive of Liverpool City Council, praised Gallagher’s recruitment.

“Nuala is a highly talented and inspiring leader, and will be a brilliant addition to the council’s senior management team at this critical juncture in our improvement journey,” Grant said.

“I have no doubt she will deliver real transformation in our approach to developing the city and driving economic growth and skills, building on the work interim director Mark Bourgeois has started.”

For her part, Gallagher said she was “delighted” to join the Liverpool team.

“This job is a huge opportunity to help shape the future of a city, which has an incredible amount of untapped potential,” she said.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the talented team who are working hard to deliver long-term improvements for the city’s residents,” Gallagher continued.

“My focus will be on ensuring Liverpool is a strong investable proposition, and driving forward its development in a way that is sustainable and benefits all our communities.”

Liverpool City Council is in the midst of a senior team reorganisation. In addition to seeking a new chief executive, the local authority is also recruiting a corporate director of neighbourhoods and housing, a director of housing, a director of highways and transport, and a director of economic strategy, skills, and sustainability – among other key positions.

Learn more about the development scene in Liverpool. Book your Liverpool City Region Development Update ticket.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Hope Nuala becomes our Wonderwall and leads us to better days ahead, one of the first things she should do is meet with our City Head of Planning and get her to stop this ludicrous nonsense in restricting the height of buildings, we are a major city and should act like one. Only yesterday the planners refused a 17 storey apartment building and made them lower the height to 10 storeys because they said we don`t need a building of that size in the inner city, even though we are trying to grow the size of the population, and according to the Mayor confirm Liverpool`s status as a forward thinking International City, god help us!

By Anonymous

I agree with Anon, LCC must decide if it is a big city with ambitions or just some urban back water. The Chief of Planning really needs to reconsider her calls and opinion on potential developers and investors.

By Liverpolitis

Best of luck to Nuala our city needs some vision and talent . Totally agree with the sentiment of anonymous the head of planning is seriously holding the city back, Sorry she does not represent the silent majority. Nuala please help 🙂

By Paul M - Woolton

Welcome, Nuala. We hear good things about you. We need you to engage with the development community; welcome their insights and commitment to Liverpool (unlike the last lot, who felt threatened by it); and work in a collaborative way, at pace. Stir things up; get things moving; and bring in people who welcome private capital and initiative.

By Sceptical

A role few people want and fewer people will be able to deliver at. A thankless task. The visibility of leadership within the Council to the property industry is close to zero and just to get it back to where it was is going to take years. A very unappealing proposition.

By James Tavistock

She sounds great

By Steve

Hope she improves things in Liverpool little by little

By Levelling Up Manager

The comments i’m seeing so far relate to taller buildings and developing the city centre. I’d much rather some standards were upheld with regards design and enforcement across the city.

By Dennis Hamface

So acting like a big city means allowing any old crap does it? That’s what Liverpool did under the old regime. How dare the Head of Planning and the City Council bring in design guidance and regeneration frameworks to ensure high quality design! I’m not buying that. Liverpool is an amazing city and as long as it is opens the door to investors and developments which can deliver good quality, and as Nuala says, be sustainable and benefit all our communities, then having a clear planning and design framework in place will help ensure that.

By Scouser

totally agree with whoever posted the comment below starting “hope nuala becomes our wonderwall”, well said! I cannot believe the council rejected a building because it was 17 storeys honest to god I give up, Liverpool is in a managed decline and it’s the labour council in charge that overseeing it utterly useless they are something has to change.


does anybody know how we lodge complaints? make our voices heard about the state of the planning department in Liverpool? for too long now we’ve let this lot reject application after application they used to hide behind World Heritage Status but now that’s gone their own incapability has been exposed. does anyone know what the people of Liverpool City Region (who do want development) can do about this?

By mike

@Dennis Hamface?, We are all in agreement with quality, no problem, but if developments are so small or reduced, surely to produce high volume quality homes the greater the number of units the more can be spent on quality, otherwise low volume means higher costs for the builder and thus higher resale price?

By Liverpolitis

Having a strong planning and design framework in place is all part of ensuring that development makes the city more sustainable and inclusive, providing a clear development framework for investors. All credit to the Council and the Head of Planning for putting this in place. Liverpool is already an amazing city but good planning and public realm improvements will make it even better.

By Anon

There was nothing wrong with the design of the 17 storey building or the others for that matter, and all this talk about sustainability and inclusivity is just a smokescreen to hide behind to achieve the boring,low-rise city that planners/councillors want. The councillors mostly haven`t a clue about urban design and dynamics, if they did this city would be a more energetic place, instead we will end up with stumps of buildings instead of the originals that trained architects designed and believed in.

By Anonymous

Given Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham have building entirely new urban ecosystems and liverpool still has swathes of urban decay suggests that this is nowhere near a “strong planning and design framework”. Also please do tell how dragging an application through planning for 3 years and lopping it in half makes it more “inclusive” and “sustainable” given there is now half the apartments/homes? Well done to Romal on waterloo docks who persevered with an appeal to the Home Secretary who overturned plannings lunacy.

By Derp

I only live in hope that this department can/will improve. The city needs some forward thinking and not just on green issues. We need movement on the liner terminal, on Littlewoods site, on Pall Mall.
We need some vision and more freedom for designers and developers. But hey’s not going to happen

By Ben

God help her!

By Roy

Good luck
Maybe she can planning applications seen with a year
Maybe she can knock some sense into the planners
Maybe she can stop the culture of saying no to everything as soon as a creative idea is suggested

By Anon

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below