The Town's Fund provides an opportunity for Blackpool to agree a Town Deal with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and to benefit from significant investment - up to £25m.
It is a condition of the Town's Fund that Blackpool Council set up a Town Deal Board.
The membership and role of the board is to:
- Develop and agree an evidenced-based Town Investment Plan.
- Develop a clear programme of interventions.
- Coordinate resources and influence stakeholders.
The board is not a legal entity, its role is advisory. Its purpose is to work with Blackpool Council, to which it is accountable as the lead council, to produce a well-evidenced Town Investment Plan which sets out a clear understanding of Blackpool, focusing on assets, opportunities and challenges which will help to create a business case to secure Town Deal funding.
Members of the Blackpool Town Deal Board:
Paul Smith (Town Deal Board Chair), BITC Pride of Place
Paul is the Chair of the Blackpool Town Deal Board. He is the Special Projects Director for Business in the Community, one of the Prince of Wales’ charities, and leads on their Blackpool Pride of Place project. He was the Global Chairman of law firm Eversheds Sutherland before taking up this role.
Paul Smith Declaration of Interests [PDF 79KB]
Scott Benton, MP for Blackpool South
Elected in December 2019, Scott Benton is the Member of Parliament for Blackpool South. Scott has a proven track record of working with local people, community groups and businesses to get results on the issues that matter to people. He is campaigning alongside residents across Blackpool to improve our local community and to make Blackpool an even better place to live, work and visit.
Scott has considerable experience both in and outside of politics. He previously worked for for Craig Whittaker MP and served as a Councillor in Yorkshire for 8 years where he was Deputy Leader of a local council for part of that period.
Prior to this he worked as a primary school teacher where he focused on supporting under-privileged children.
Scott’s political priorities are delivering a strong local economy and creating more jobs for local people.
As well as spending his spare time with family and supporting community events, Scott is also an avid football fan.
Scott Benton Declaration of Interests [PDF 78KB]
Anna Blackburn, Beaverbrooks
Anna Blackburn is Managing Director of Beaverbrooks, a family-owned jewellers which celebrated its centenary in 2019.
Anna joined the retailer, which has 70 stores nationwide, as a graduate trainee in 1998, and after working her way up within the company, accepted the role of chief executive officer in 2013. This appointment was significant on two levels – Anna was the first female CEO and the first non-family member to take up the role. In January 2018, Anna became the first ever non-family member to be promoted to the board of the company as managing director.
Under Anna’s leadership, the Lytham St Anne’s-based company has just had the six most profitable years in its history and as a result of Anna’s focus on making Beaverbrooks a great employer, the business has featured in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list for 17 consecutive years, and has been recognised as the most consistently exceptional three-star accredited retailer in the UK. In 2020 Beaverbrooks won Retail Week’s ‘Best Place to Work’ award – for the second year running.
Anna works hard to establish and maintain a strong company culture and is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the business align with the company’s mission statement, ‘The Beaverbrooks Way’ and the company’s purpose of ‘enriching lives,’ which simply means making a positive difference in everything it does.
A big advocate of charitable giving, Anna actively encourages and empowers Beaverbrooks’ 960+ employees to support charities, either by fundraising or volunteering their time. Beaverbrooks donates 20 per cent of retained profits to charity and since the year 2000 has donated in excess of £15m to over 750 charities.
The Mum of two young children was named The Sunday Times Best Companies ‘UK’s Best Leader 2020’ along with Beaverbrooks’ Chairman Mark Adlestone OBE DL, for the second year running. Anna was also named ‘Retail Leader of the Year’ at The WatchPro Awards 2019 and is an Ambassador for Retail Week’s ‘Be Inspired’ campaign.
Anna Blackburn Declaration of Interests [PDF 79KB]
Ben Mansford, Blackpool Football Club
Ben Mansford was appointed CEO and a director of Blackpool Football Club in November 2019.
A graduate in law, Ben is a qualified solicitor who specialised in sport, prior to becoming a vice president at global sports management and media group Wasserman for many years.
He was appointed chief executive of Barnsley in 2013 and spent three years in the role at Oakwell, with the club achieving promotion to the championship and a football league trophy success in his final season. Ben’s switch to Leeds United in 2016 then resulted in him playing a major role in the Whites’ resurgence.
In June 2017, he became CEO of Maccabi Tel Aviv, with the Israeli giants winning the championship in record-breaking fashion during his time there, as well as qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League.
Ben Mansford declaration of interests [PDF 79KB]
Canon Dick Cartmell, Together Lancashire
Blackpool born and a PE Teacher in Remedial and Special Education 1965 to 1977. Dick was ordained C of E in 1979 and was based for 30 years in the ministry on outer housing estates, ending at Blackpool Holy Trinity 2008. In his retirement he set up a Parish Development course and now since 2014, has worked as Together Lancs Fylde Coast Co-ordinator. An avid Pool season ticket holder, Dick enjoys music through a male voice choir and believes in human regeneration ahead of economic success. Let’s never forget this town began as a health resort.
Dick set up two church urban fund projects in Blackburn and Blackpool based on community survival and wholeness, both of which lasted for over 10 years. He is now about to launch a Poverty/Truth commission on the Fylde Coast which works on the principle “Anything about us, without us, is not for us.” This is all about storytelling truth unto power and from this comes real change.
Dick Cartmel Declaration of Interests [PDF 80KB]
Alan Cavill, Blackpool Borough Council
Alan became Director of Communication and Regeneration at Blackpool Council in April 2014. This area is responsible for Regeneration, Enterprise and Employment, Tourism, Business & Visitor Economy Strategy, Libraries, Heritage, Housing, Planning, Illuminations, Communications and the Transport department. Prior to this he was Assistant Chief Executive of Regeneration, Tourism and Culture, a position he was appointed to in July 2011 and he has been on Council’s corporate leadership team for over 10 years.
Specifically Alan now carries the responsibility for the Council owned Leisure Assets which includes Blackpool Tower and the Winter gardens Complex. The Winter Gardens is the home of the Blackpool Dance Festival; the competition and brand that is now owned by Blackpool Council.
He has over 30 years of experience working on various aspect and projects in tourism and regeneration in the North West including Salford Quays, Workington Ironworks, Preston Docks, East Manchester and of course Blackpool.
Before moving to Blackpool in 1997 to manage Blackpool Challenge Partnership he spent 15 years with Central Government in Manchester in the Department of Transport, Department of Environment and Government Office for the North West.
He is also Chairman of Blackpool & the Fylde College; a Queens Award winning outstanding educational institute with over 20,000 students, he is vice chairman of British Destinations (a national body representing tourism destinations), holds a number of trustee positions on charitable bodies, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry from Salford University and is a MIED (Member of the Institute of Economic Development).
Alan Cavill Declaration of Interests [PDF 78KB]
Jane Cole, Blackpool Transport
I am the Managing Director of Blackpool Transport, the award winning, major bus and tram operator for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast. We operate bus and tram services, offer rail replacement, event management and Park and Glide services.
I joined Blackpool Transport in 2014 after a successful 17year career working for Virgin Trains at a senior level in Operations, Business Development and People Development.
Leading a successful passenger transport business requires a customer first attitude and strong inter-personal skills, extensive industry knowledge and the ability to develop and grow the people in your team which I am able to do as a trained executive coach and mentor (ILM Level 7 in progress) and Common Purpose World Leader.
Blackpool Transport is an award winning company with our most recent award being Employer of the Year for the Lancashire Red Rose Awards.
I have successfully delivered business transformation programmes that are aligned to delivering strategic business aims and local transport plans and I was recently voted Business Woman of the Year at the Northern Enterprise Vision Awards.
As we move towards 2021 we have the vision at Blackpool Transport to continue to grow and develop our work in the community and with our stakeholders to make Blackpool and the Fylde Coast a great place to live, work and visit.
I am very active in the Transport Industry and the Business world to keep my skills and knowledge up to date and relevant as:
- An Executive Board member of Album
- Fellow member of CILT
- A member of CPT
- Vice President of the North west Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
- Executive Board member of Blackpool and Fylde Collage
- Committee Member of Common Purpose
- Board member of Blackpool Pride of Place
I am also a member of many networking groups and in particular Women in Transport.
Jane Cole Declaration of Interests [PDF 82KB]
Peter Cole, Chartered Surveyor
Peter is a Chartered Surveyor and has substantial experience in town centre regeneration and international property investment. He is a member of the Town Deal Board and was Chair of the Future High Street Fund Bid Board.
He is a former Chief Investment Officer and Director of Hammerson plc and is a Non Executive Director of LabTech International and Primary Healthcare Properties plc.
Peter Cole Declaration of Interests [PDF 80KB]
Richard Fee, Investment Director and Chairman, Nikal
Biog and declaration of interests to follow
Richard Fee Declaration of Interest [PDF 94KB]
Steve Fogg, Chair of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
Steve Fogg has a wealth of experience from a career forged at BAE Systems, from apprentice to engineering, then moving through operations, functional management and programme management to business leadership and his final role before retiring as Managing Director of Corporate Shared Services PLC. He also holds various non-executive Board membership roles, including membership of the Blackpool Pride of Place Partnership, Chair of the Fylde Coast Responsible Business Network and a member of the Blackpool and Fylde College Board. During his time at BAe Systems he represented them as a Member of the Worldskills Advisory Group on Social Mobility, Diversity and Inclusion and was a Member of the National Apprentice Ambassador network and was a leading driver behind BAE Systems approach to Mental Heath support. Prior to joining the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust as Chairman he was Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and was a Member of the East Lancashire Hospital Trust Board.
David Gaffney, Arts England Council
David Gaffney works for Arts Council England as a Senior Relationship Manager where he helps develop arts projects, assesses applications for funding, manages funding programmes, delivers talks and training sessions on arts funding and works with regularly funded arts organisations.
David Gaffney is also a writer and he is the author of the novels Never Never (2008) and All The Places I've Ever Lived (2017) plus the flash fiction and short story collections Sawn-Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), The Half-Life of Songs (2010) and More Sawn-Off Tales (2013). David’s graphic novel with Dan Berry, The Three Rooms In Valerie's Head is out now.
David Gaffney Declaration of Interests [PDF 92KB]
Tracy Hopkins, Blackpool Fylde and Wyre VCFS
Tracy Hopkins is currently CEO of Citizens Advice Blackpool and has been in this role since 2014. As a strategic leader in the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector (VCFS), Tracy has been instrumental in developing the partnership of VCFS leaders across the Fylde Coast and Chairs the VCFS Leadership Group, working closely with partners across the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System as part of the VCFS Alliance.
Following her time at Manchester University studying psychology, Tracy trained as a teacher in FE. This then took her on to developing training courses for adults and working within education and skills. Tracy spent 7 years a CEO of an Education Business Partnership (EBP) across Greater Manchester. Providing opportunities for young people and developing enterprise learning at a time when there was a policy focus on employability and education. During this time, Tracy worked as a consultant to the Department for Education and Skills, advising on employer engagement and helping employers implement meaningful corporate social responsibility agendas. Tracy also worked with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust to develop education leadership and travelled to North America to share models of successful leadership with leaders from around the world, this work was instrumental in the development of academies and school business managers. Tracy’s entrepreneurial skills helped her transform the EBP from a charity dependent upon grants to a social enterprise selling services to schools and colleges.
This move towards social enterprise development, saw Tracy take up the role of CEO of an exciting organization that provided accommodation, work and training to people who were street homeless. Tracy spent almost 4 years running this social enterprise; developing the retail offer, opening a community café and supporting people to make the transition into independent living, employment and positive changes to their lives. During this time, Tracy also acted as Chair of a Domestic Violence charity and a trustee of Preston Community Network. Tracy worked alongside initiatives such as Big Local to support communities to find their own solutions. As an advocate of VCFS infrastructure, Tracy has contributed to a range of projects with the aim of creating a robust, sustainable VCFS that makes a positive impact on local communities.
As CEO of Citizens Advice in Blackpool, Tracy has taken the organization from a position of financial uncertainty to one of stability. Building a team who are responsive, capable and willing to innovate in order to provide the best possible service to our communities, the CAB is viewed as a strategically significant across the VCFS. Through working with funders, Tracy has secured projects to help people with debt and mental health issues and has set up Young Citizens Advice Blackpool – the first of its kind in the country. Tracy is passionate about the work of the CAB, regularly contributes to research and campaigns work at a national level emphasizing the impact this can have on the lives of seldom heard communities and individuals. Building on links with the NHS, Tracy is now working with neighbourhoods across the Fylde coast to implement Social Prescribing.
Tracy Hopkins Declaration of Interests [PDF 83KB]
Neil Jack, Blackpool Borough Council
Neil Jack was appointed as Chief Executive of Blackpool Council in September 2011. Neil, who was born and educated in Blackpool, had previously been Director of Finance and Resources at Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH) since 2006. During this time BCH’s success in a Government inspection generated nearly £50 million to improve the quality of social housing in Blackpool.
Prior to joining Blackpool Coastal Housing, Neil had previously worked for Blackpool Council in the Finance Department covering a wide variety of services.
During his six years as Chief Executive, Neil has helped steer the organisation through £118m worth of cuts to the council’s budget, while also overseeing external investment in the town of around £350m, and acting as the landlord to some of the UK’s most famous attractions: The Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and Sandcastle Waterpark.
The current and upcoming investment in regenerating Blackpool includes construction of Blackpool’s first business district, a revamp of the resort’s tramway and extension to the train station, major new conferencing facilities at the Winter Gardens plus £55m to ensure that young children get the possible best start in life and that teenagers in the town get access to the best mental health support designed to increase their resilience. Neil has a key role in the delivery of both the Better Start and HeadStart programmes in Blackpool. He is the Chair of Executive Board for the HeadStart Programme and an Executive Board Member for the Better Start.
Work led by Neil to readdress Blackpool’s housing supply has also included replacing run down social housing with new quality, family accommodation, and involves requiring poor private landlords to improve the quality of HMOs in areas of the town. An innovative £30m project for Blackpool Council to operate as a private landlord to improve run down properties in the town and enhance the current housing marketplace across the town is also under way.
As part of the council’s work to create a stronger economy, Neil has also overseen huge improvements to Blackpool’s tourism offer, with more than 17m visits to the resort being made every year, generating £1.32bn into the town’s economy and supporting 20,000 jobs. As part of Neil’s role to improve Blackpool’s tourism offer, he also chairs the Turning tides board, which works to improve the quality of bathing water across the North West, culminating in Blackpool being awarded the region’s first Blue Flag in 2016.
Neil Jack Declaration of Interests [PDF 81KB]
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North
Paul has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Blackpool North & Cleveleys since May 2010, retaining his seat in the 2015, 17, 19 elections. During Paul’s time in Parliament he has held a number of ministerial roles, including rail minister, Government Whip, courts minister and latterly aviation minister. Paul has an interest in transport infrastructure, regeneration, financial resilience, and various aspects of the tourism industry. Paul attended St. Ambrose College in Trafford, and University College Oxford.
Paul Maynard Declaration of Interests [PDF 78KB]
Trish Armstrong-Child, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Trish Armstrong-Child joined the Trust on September 20th 2021 after previously being the chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital.
Before taking over at Southport in December 2019 Trish was deputy chief executive and director of nursing at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
During her six years there, she played a key role in shaping the organisation into one rated by the Care Quality Commission as “good” overall and “outstanding” for leadership at all levels.
Trish, who was inspired to become a nurse by her mum’s work as a healthcare assistant in a nursing home, qualified as a registered general nurse in 1992.
She completed her training at Whiston hospital, Merseyside, and worked at other North West trusts as staff nurse, sister and matron. She went on to hold senior positions in nursing and NHS operational management, including deputy director of operations at the former Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. She joined the board of Bolton in 2013.
In 2018, Trish was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for her “outstanding contribution to health care”.
Bolton has strong links with the university and she worked with them to establish a pre-registration nursing degree. In awarding the honour, the university said she had quadrupled the places open to nursing students.
She was awarded a MBE for services to nursing in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.
Trish Armstrong-Child Declaration of Interest [PDF 93KB]
Hellen Warren, Department for Work and Pensions
I am the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Senior External Partnership Leader for the Cumbria & Lancashire District. I have worked in the Civil Service for 31 years in a variety of departments, including: War Pensions, Working Age Benefits, Retirement Services, in particular managing Bereavement teams nationally. In 2022, I joined the Jobcentre side of DWP and I lead a team of external partnership managers.
I am committed to working in partnership with key stakeholders to ensure that Jobcentres deliver a quality service that supports the diverse needs of our customers, enabling everyone to achieve their goals into sustained employment.
Helen Warren Deaclaration of Interest [PDF 93KB]
Tina Redford, Left Coast
Tina Redford is the Director at LeftCoast, Blackpool. Previously, she has been the Head of the Library Service in Warrington, Director of Culture Warrington and Regional Director of MusicLeader North West - a national programme dedicated to the professional development of musicians, especially those working with children and young people. Tina graduated from Lancaster University in 1988 with BA Hons in Marketing and Theatre Studies.
Tina Redford Declaration of Interests [PDF 79KB]
Bev Robinson OBE, Blackpool and The Fylde College
Principal and Chief Executive, Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC)
With over 25 years’ experience in further and higher education colleges, Bev Robinson believes in the power of education and training to transform lives and is passionate about technical and professional education, co-created with industry, to drive the UK economy.
Bev is a member of the Board of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. She was on the Independent Panel for the Review of Post 18 Education and Funding which produced the Augar report and was a member of the Independent Panel on Technical Education chaired by Lord Sainsbury. Bev is a member of the Lancashire LEP Skills and Employment Advisory Panel.
B&FC has been spearheading technical and professional education across the Fylde coast for over 125 years. The College is in the top 3% of colleges nationally for student success and has been for 6 consecutive years. B&FC is the largest college provider of higher education in England; with more HE students than some small universities. B&FC focuses on those aspects of education and training which are needed to drive the economy, deliver a skilled workforce for industry, secure employment and vibrant careers for students whilst promoting social equity.
Bev Robinson Declaration of Interests [PDF 79KB]
Kate Shane, Merlin Entertainments Group
Regional Director - Merlin Entertainments Group.
Kate joined Merlin Entertainments in 2011 as General Manager of The Blackpool Tower, taking the position as Head of the Merlin attractions in Blackpool, including the Blackpool Tower, Circus and Ballroom, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and the Dungeons, in 2016.
The Cluster employs up to 350 local people and has seen strong growth in visitor numbers, financial performance and guest KPI's (Satisfaction, Customer Service and NPS), all of which is underpinned by investment in skills training and the wellbeing of the team.
Kate is a co-opted member of the Lancashire LEP Board, sits on the Advisory Board of IAAPA EMEA and is also on the Blackpool Pride of Place Board, part of Business in the Community.
Kate was previously a Governor of Blackpool and the Fylde College (Ofsted Outstanding), a Non-Exec Director for Blackpool Transport.
Kate is a passionate advocate of Blackpool and has a genuine desire to create a better future and improve opportunities for those who live, work and visit the area.
She believes collaborative working, bringing business, the third sector and communities together is the only way to achieve success for the UK’s favourite seaside resort.
Kate Shane Declaration of Interests [PDF 79KB]
Peter Swann, Coolsilk
Local businessman, Peter arrived in Blackpool 10 years ago, finally purchasing the site of the Old Palace Nightclub, converting it into the Sands Venue.
The Sands closed some 3 years ago to develop the towns first 5* hotel, The Sands Venue Resort and Spa.
Over the last 20 years Peter has been involved with the building, development and running of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and various commercial and residential projects under Coolfun Ltd and Coolsilk Property and Investment Ltd.
Peter Swann Declaration of Interests [PDF 80KB]
Steve Williams, Force Technology
An entrepreneur and business leader who has created three successful engineering companies and turned-around range of manufacturing businesses and charities with employee numbers from 10 to 150.
Actively engaged in UK manufacturing cluster groups with a focus on developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A passionate supporter of educational, heritage and cultural charities and regional regeneration projects in Northern England.
Managing Director and Owner - Force Technology Ltd
A specialist manufacturing company established 2015 with over 30 employees
Voluntary Roles - Lytham Hall - Trustee and Project Coordinator, Lytham Windmill and Old Lifeboat House - Museum Coordinator
Director - Northern Automotive Alliance, Institute of Spring Technology
Trustee - Heritage Trust for the North West, Lytham Town Trust, Lytham Heritage Group
Steve Williams Declaration of Interests [PDF 99KB]
Debbie Francis, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Debbie Francis has over 30 years of experience, both in the UK and overseas, across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. Debbie now has a varied portfolio career as well as running her own consultancy and training practice. Until recently, Debbie was a City Executive for Arcadis after four years as Managing Director of DRS, a rail freight business, and before that, four years as LNW Route Finance and Commercial Director with Network Rail. Debbie is Chair of the Lancashire LEP, Chair of the Harwich Haven Authority, a non-executive Director of Loram UK and a non-executive Director on the board of the MDC Stockport, as well as a Trustee of Pave The Way. She is named in the Top Northern Power Women List, won the 2019 North West & IOM Director of the Year for Inclusivity, and received the 'Woman with Edge' award, which recognises businesswomen who challenge the status quo - at the 2019 Women of the Year awards. She was recently awarded an OBE for services to women in rail.
Debbie Francis Declaration of Interest [PDF 102KB]