Governing Body

Chair: Geoff Muirhead CBE

Geoff MuirheadThe chair of our governing body is Geoff Muirhead, a civil engineer by background who was the Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group PLC from 2001 – 2010 and Chief Executive of Manchester Airport from 1994. His external appointments include Chairman of IPPR Commission for Northern Economic Futures, Atlantic Gateways Board, past Chair of NW CBI and past President of Manchester Chamber of commerce and industry and past Chairman of NW Rail Campaign. In these roles Geoff has been involved in promoting opportunities for the North West region to prosper.

In addition he has a particular interest in education as he believes that fully developing the talent of young people is a key to the future success of the economy. Geoff is the past Board Member of Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair of the Wythenshawe Education action Zone.

“Education is the key to the most fulfilling future for everyone. I have been engaged for many years through the local training and enterprise council, education action zone and university boards in order to try and improve opportunity for all.

The UTC concept is a great idea that matches the learning of skills to the demands of today’s employers. I hope to support the great UTC team in providing high quality education, so that all our students may have a successful and fulfilling future.”


Professor Helen Marshall – Vice Chancellor, University of Salford

Helen Marshall

Professor Helen Marshall joined the University of Salford in July 2013 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and after a short period as Acting Vice-Chancellor, was appointed as Vice-Chancellor in April 2015.

Prior to joining the Salford, Helen was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Business Development) at the University of South Wales from 2010, and in her time there, she led on academic and business development initiatives. She was responsible for the development of a new curriculum in creative industries, the establishment of a Centre for Financial and Professional Services and the review and renewal of the law curriculum.  She has also led on widening participation and was Director for the University of South Wales’ Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) – a ground breaking initiative backed by the Welsh Government to provide opportunities for local people and businesses to improve skills and qualifications by making learning accessible across the Valleys region. In three years, UHOVI enrolment grew from less than 100 to more than 2200.   The UHOVI was recognised with a national Guardian Higher Education Award in 2013.

Helen studied Law before continuing to postgraduate research in Corporate Merger Law at the University of Birmingham.


Julia Fawcett OBE – Chief Executive, The Lowry

Julia Fawcett is the chief executive of The Lowry, one of the largest performance and visual arts centres in the UK, located at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester.

Appointed in June 2002, she is responsible for ensuring the artistic and commercial success of the Centre, which is also a registered charity. (No: 1053962) Since she joined The Lowry, visitor numbers have risen steadily – with over 820,000 people currently passing through the doors each year – making The Lowry one of the most popular visitor attractions in the North West of England.

She has developed formal partnerships between The Lowry and Birmingham Royal Ballet, the National Theatre, Opera North and Rambert. In doing this, Julia has positioned the Centre as the home for touring productions of some of the UK’s leading cultural institutions.

Prior to joining The Lowry, she was the chief executive of Dynamic Earth Enterprises Ltd in Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s largest visitor attractions. She also spent ten years at Granada Group Plc, running a number of their commercial assets.

A graduate of Bristol University, where she studied Drama, Film & Television, Julia is now a Council Member of the University of Salford where she is Lead Member for Arts & Humanities, a Governor of a local high school and a Trustee of the University Technical College at MediaCityUK. The University of Salford conferred an honorary doctorate on Fawcett in 2008.



Ian Bent – Head of Radio Production for the BBC in the North

Ian B

Ian runs a department making programmes for Radio 4, Radio 3 and The World Service. He trained as a journalist and has worked for the BBC for more than 25 years as a reporter, presenter, producer and editor.

Ian is particularly keen to ensure that young people from less privileged backgrounds are given the opportunity to flourish in careers in the media and creative industries and he sees the UTC as providing unique and important pathways to such careers.




Jon Corner -CEO – The Landing, MediaCityUK

Jon c smallJon is CEO at The Landing MediaCityUK heading up a £15m project in cutting edge technology and innovation delivery. He has successfully positioned The Landing as the driver of business collaboration at MediaCityUK, engaging a wide range of commercial stakeholders and clients. He has created a unique business proposition for businesses and start-ups at The Landing including designers of interactive media, engineers, software specialists and tech developers, while at the same time ensuring that The Landing complements and enhances the activities of the major broadcasters and producers at MediaCityUK. Most recently he used his knowledge and experience to help shape UTC@MediaCityUK.

With a background in Creative Direction and Production Jon has successfully delivered a multitude of national and international film and rich media projects for such clients as The Home Office, The British Council, Unesco, BBC, CBS and Shanghai World Expo amongst many others. His detailed knowledge and expertise spans broadcast, post-production, interactive and advertising.

Jon was previously appointed Director of MediaCityUK for the University of Salford in 2010 and spearheaded the fit-out and technology platform of the University’s iconic campus at MediaCityUK. He established commercial partnerships to enhance engagement with industry which form the heart of its Digital Futures programme.

Jon’s other positions include Liverpool City Region LEP Innovation Board member, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society – Board non-exec Director, Madeleine’s Fund Leaving No Stone Unturned , Director, University of Liverpool – Visiting Fellow, School of Arts.



Graham Cowley – Executive Director of Capita Local Government, Health and Property Division (a national infrastructure design and management company which is part of the Capita Group, a highly successful FTSE 100 company).


Graham has recently left Capita where he was directly responsible for the management and development of over 2000 staff and for the quality of services delivered by them, as well as business performance. Graham’s focus is on business growth, people development, client relationships, service delivery and control, health and safety and statutory compliance systems. Graham has developed Capita’s major property and infrastructure Partnerships with Local Government and played a significant role in the growth of the company since 2001. He has a wealth of experience in public and private sectors developing a broad understanding of partner organisation and extensive experience of developing innovative solutions to deliver mutual benefit.

Graham is currently Chair of the Blackpool New Opportunities Fund and is a Director of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership where he Chairs the Growth Deal Management Board.



Philip Duffy – Managing Director, Duff Phelps

Philip DuffyPhilip is a Chartered Accountant and a licensed UK Insolvency Practitioner and leads Duff Phelps Global Restructuring Advisory practice. He has more than 20 years experience in the corporate recovery and recovery market. He has significant experience advising clients in complex situations, including those with multijurisdictional issues. He has delivered a significant number of Independent Business Reviews on behalf of a wide range of stakeholders in order to facilitate a turnaround and/or restructuring.

Philip’s sector expertise includes retail, travel, sport and manufacturing. He has been administrator to a number of travel businesses, including Club Travel and, the Travelscope group of companies. In the sporting sector, Philip has provided restructuring advice to Premiership and Championship football clubs.




Kevin Massey – Educational Consultant

KevinKevin was the Senior Regional Director for National Strategies in Yorkshire and Humberside from 2008 -2011, supporting and challenging Local Authority DCSs and ADs/Heads of School Improvement for the standards on their schools.  He directed a team of 27 Regional Advisers with subject and phase expertise through programmes of tailored support for LAs staff and particularly in joint working with LA staff and National Challenge Advisers in schools causing concern, secondary and primary.  Specialisms include data analysis at strategic and school levels and Narrowing the Gap programmes for vulnerable pupils.

During 2006-7 he was Principal Advisor for Halton LA, directing the school improvement team, including Governor Support.  He dealt with the most challenged schools and being responsible for these through the DCS to Members and at a crucial time, developed collaborative arrangements with secondary head teachers to share good practice to and collectively achieve PSA targets (impact seen as Halton improved 5A*-Cs English with mathematics by 16.2ppts in two years when the rates of improvement nationally were 4.3ppts).

From 1998-2006 Kevin was a School Improvement Advisor.  He successfully supported schools out of the category causing concern. He carried out Ofsted inspection work in schools in other LAs.  Kevin developed and implemented systems, which improved Headteacher skills in the use of data to improve outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and including those in special schools.

Chris Tweedale – Aldridge Education



Chris Tweedale was appointed as Aldridge Education’s first CEO and took up the role in October 2016.

Chris has previously held positions as Chief Executive of CfBT Schools Trust and  UK Director of CfBT; Director of Schools & Young People Group in the Welsh Government; and as a Deputy Director at the Department for Children, Schools and Families (now the DfE).

He was Headteacher at John Masefield High School, Ledbury, for seven years and, prior to that, Deputy Principal at Okehampton Community College, Devon.

Chris’ career began with teaching roles in schools in London, Hertfordshire and Surrey.



Elizabeth Vega – CEO Informed Solutions

Elizabeth VegaElizabeth Vega has over 25 years’ experience at Board level, advising on and leading successful business transformation and enterprise IT programmes. A graduate of Sydney University, Elizabeth gained international experience with Unilever, Oracle and Hawker Siddley before establishing technology consultancy, InfoTechnics, in Australia.

She launched Informed Solutions in the UK in 1992 and has built the company into a multi-award winning market leader, expanding its operations in Australia with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Informed is a leading independent provider of Digital Transformation and Systems Integration Services to both public and private sectors. A high profile champion of SMEs in the UK, Elizabeth is a member of techUK’s Main Board, the Australia Information Industry Association (AIIA) National Board and of the UK Government Cabinet Office SME Panel, where she is a respected and influential contributor.

She is very much at the forefront of the UK’s Digital Revolution, committed to the Government’s Digital by Default and eCloud agendas. Informed won the prestigious 2014 Nominet Internet Award for Digital Innovations in Public Services. Increasingly seen as a thought leader, Elizabeth is a sought after speaker and blogger on subjects including SME procurement, the Digital Skills gap and Women in IT.


Nicola Wall – Parent Governor

Nicola Wall

Nicola is a business Transformation Consultant and has held a number of Director and Senior positions in large organisations, always supporting public services. She has a reputation for bringing enthusiasm, commitment and a positive common sense approach and always asking the difficult yet obvious questions. You can see her professional profile on LinkedIn at which includes personal statements from colleagues and associates.

Nicola believes it is so important that our children do what they enjoy, what they are good at and can understand how this translates into the world of work. During her career she was responsible for linking BAE systems and University of Central Lancashire to design and develop the first Project Management Degree course in the UK, it provides 20 school leavers each year the opportunity to work for the company and earn an income, whilst studying for their degree, which is fully funded by BAE systems. Nicola is passionate about developing people and has introduced many talent programmes including, early career development, apprenticeships, graduate and leadership development programmes, into many organisations.

Stephen Wild – Managing Director, MediaCityUK

Stephen wildMediaCityUK is a key strategic project for the Peel Group and the Creative, Digital and Technology sector in the UK. MediaCityUK has risen to be the leading creative and digital destination within Manchester since its inception in 2008. It is now home to many leading corporate companies and Universities, including BBC, ITV, University of Salford, Bupa and SIS, in excess of 100 small enterprises and a wide range of skills and training providers.

Stephen was appointed Managing Director in 2009 and since that time has been responsible for the strategy operations and partnerships at MediaCityUK. Stephen works with all major partners and customers to ensure that the needs to all parties are understood and delivered.

Stephen works closely with the public sector partners and the numerous training bodies in relation to the provision of skills and training and initiatives to support the future success of MediaCityUK. Stephen is also a governor of the MediaCityUK University Technical College, due to open in 2015 focussing on enhancement of digital skills.

Stephen is a board member of The Landing, the leading creative and digital destination located at MediaCityUK.

Remit of the Committees

PDF: Education Committee Remit

PDF: Business Committee Remit

PDF: Performance Committee Remit

Attendance and Reports

PDF: Governor Attendance

PDF: Business and Pecuniary Interests