GM Leaders Plus 3 off to a flying start

The third round of Greater Manchester Leaders Plus got off to a cracking start this month, with every promise of a fulfilling year (well, 9 months) to come.

Partners Arup kindly hosted the in-person launch, with nearly all of the candidates and most mentors (see below) able to join the lively event where mentors shared best practice, the FoL team outlined the programme, alumna Shefali Kapoor shared tips on getting the most from the course, and we played ‘Six Degrees of Andy Burnham’ (all positive) to get acquainted – congrats again to Helen Shearer of Bolton Council for some lightning networking!

With a next-day field trip postponed by Storm Eunice, the cohort met via Zoom to share what they wanted from the course, and as with the London cohort, everyone’s after the qualities, connections and experience that make quality leaders. Less than two weeks in, we’ve delved into motivations, anchors and behaviours as well as the current context of leadership – and appear to have agreed five or six field trips.

Both current rounds seem to be buzzing with ideas and energy – perhaps it’s being released back into the world, being able to have side-conversations or see interesting places in person again, perhaps it’s an additional charge from the increased variety in both groups – whatever the case, we’re excited to be working with all our Leaders cohorts in person again, and are keen to offer grads who were stuck on screen a few chances to meet up in person, with each other and with current groups. If you’re interested, drop us a line:

For now, thanks to GM Leaders Plus sponsors Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Hatch, Trowers & Hamlins and hosts Arup – and welcome to GM Leaders Plus 3!


  • Karl Astbury, Rochdale Borough Housing
  • Heather Coombs, Wigan Council
  • Susie Cuthill, The Proud Trust
  • Steph Everett, Homes England
  • Sherelle Fairweather, Manchester City Council
  • Ian Gilbert, Barton Willmore
  • Laura Green, Stockport Mayoral Development Corp.
  • Jennifer Kantor, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Bethan McCaw, GMCA
  • Beena Puri, GMCA
  • Helen Shearer, Bolton Council
  • Sam Styles, Arup
  • Kelly Watson, Hatch
  • Ashleigh Williams, Bury Council


  • Suzanne Benson, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Jessica Bowles, Bruntwood
  • Eamonn Boylan, GMCA
  • Cym D’Souza, Arawak Walton Housing Association
  • Ricardo Gomez, Hatch
  • Angela Harrington, Manchester City Council
  • Jane Healey Brown, Arup
  • Andrew Lightfoot, GMCA
  • Dan Mitchell, Barton Willmore
  • Claire Norman, GMCA
  • Paul Richards, Stockport MDC
  • Nicola Rigby, Avison Young
  • Claire Tostevin, Rochdale Borough Housing
  • Mike Wilton, Arup