North West Regional Advisory Board

The main purpose of our regional advisory board is to connect people and communities with the local canals and rivers here in the North West region.

North West Region, Manchester and the Rochdale Canal North West Region, Manchester and the Rochdale Canal

Upcoming meetings

Search minutes of our past meetings

Our boards give local people:

  • a voice in developing and improving their waterways
  • a chance to connect with their waterside communities
  • an opportunity to help guide our decisions and strategies
  • the ability to support and champion the waterways in this region

Meet our regional advisory board members

Chair - Professor Nigel Weatherill DL

After graduating in mathematics, Nigel’s first job was as mathematician in the Research Team of Anglian Water Authority. He has held senior positions in the UK at Swansea (1986-2008), Birmingham (2008-2011) and Liverpool John Moores (Vice-Chancellor 2011-2018). He has held positions around the world, including Adjunct Professor at the US National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centre, Mississippi State University and Scientist-in-Residence, Singapore. He has had national responsibilities, including Executive Director of the National Higher Education STEM Programme for England and Wales. He Chaired the Commission on Environmental Sustainability for the Mayor of Liverpool.  Until recently, Nigel was the Honorary Colonel of the Liverpool University Officer Training Corps, a Board Member of the CBI North West Regional Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership for the Liverpool City Region. He is a member of the Arts Council (North). He was appointed Chair of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 2015 and Chair of the Royal Court Liverpool in 2018.  Nigel is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He is a Chartered Mathematician, Chartered Engineer and Chartered Scientist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of the Arts, an Honorary Fellow of Swansea University and an Honorary Member of the Liverpool Medical Institution. In April 2016 Nigel was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside. In March 2018 he was elected an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, in July 2018 was made an Honorary Friend of Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and in October 2018 was recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

Tayo Adebowale

Director of Cirkadia, and environmental consultant, with a PhD in water quality/management. Tayo has over 20 years experience in governance, including 9 years as a national non-exec director within the public sector; she  is currently a Board Member of the North West Environment Agency Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, and a branch member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Mike Carter

Mike has worked in, operated and owned boat repair businesses with full boatyard facilities. In 1998 he switched to a career as a marine surveyor. Mike’s childhood was spent either living afloat or in a canalside cottage. Mike owns, or has an interest in, several historic narrowboats and barges, including a commercial grain barges operation. Throughout the year Mike and his young family can be found leisure boating around the canal and river system operated by the Trust.

John Hatton

John has been a canoeist and user of Britain's waterways all his life. He worked in Local Government for nearly 30 years running a multi-service Leisure and Community Services Department. More recently he has undertaken an interim role as General Manager of Canoe Wales and is now acting in a consultancy role on behalf of British Canoeing.  He has recently become a Director of a Community Benefit Society in the Sport and Leisure industry which employs some 250 staff. John aims to bring his experience of interagency partnership working, experience of the waterways and project management to the organization.

Peter Jordan

Peter Jordan has over 25 years experience of regeneration in North West England.  He is currently Director of Newground Together, a charity enhancing the local environment and promoting employment opportunities in local communities.  The Charity is part of the Together Housing Group, a social landlord that manages 37,000 properties in the North of England.  Peter has lived alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal for most of his adult life and is a keen recreational user of the canal corridor.

Nick Mead

Nick has been involved with canals for over forty years, holidaying and for the last ten years running his hotel boat across the northern system for 6 months of the year. Working in a wide variety of industries around the globe, Nick gained his MBA in 2004 and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management. He has managed large teams across many countries, planned and executed large scale strategic change, including implementing and managing significant global outsourcing contracts. With advisory roles at the YMCA and non-executive roles, Nick applies his experience to solving strategic issues for other businesses.

Gerry Proctor MBE

Gerry was born in Liverpool, educated at St Mary’s College, Crosby and Ushaw College, University of Durham (BAHons Theology). He worked in St Helens, particularly with young people, from 1977-1985 when he volunteered for work in Ecuador and Bolivia with deprived communities for 6 years. He returned to Liverpool to work in the Dovecot and Knotty Ash neighbourhoods of the city from 1991-2003 when he moved into an apartment on the site of the former Herculaneum Dock. He is Chair of Engage Liverpool CIC which he helped to found with other residents and they work to improve the quality of life and sustainability of city centre living. Gerry received an MPhil and an MBE in 2013.

Peter Rowlinson

Peter has a long history of involvement with the canals in the North West of England. As a qualified town planner and deputy director of planning and regeneration for Wigan Council, and director of planning and economy at Rochdale, he was proactively involved in regeneration schemes around waterways. He is now a trustee of two other charities, the director of a community centre, has his own planning and heritage consultancy and on a voluntary basis leads on a number of high-profile heritage initiatives close to the canal network.

Keith Sexton

Former director of environment, health and safety for the Amey Group. Previously chair of environmental partnership of the City of Birmingham where he was elected as regional West Midlands "Green Leader", Keith has a first degree in engineering and a masters degree in environmental management.

Audrey Smith OBE

Audrey is an experienced boater with great knowledge of the Leeds and Liverpool canal as well as the Lancaster canal.  She has previously been chair of the IWA, a member of IWAAC and chair of IWA enterprises and was made OBE in recognition of her work for the inland waterways. Audrey’s professional background is in education. She has been a member of the Canal and River Trust’s North West Partnership since 2011.  Audrey has long advocated the widest possible use of the waterway corridor and currently chairs the Lancaster Canal Regeneration Partnership.  

Nigel Stevens

Nigel Stevens and his wife operate a hire fleet and boatyard, giving him an intimate customer’s-eye view of the canals of the North West. He is a member of the Navigation Advisory Group, and a past elected member of Council. Nigel has worked for the waterways in many capacities, in both campaigning and trade organisations, and was a partner in the restoration of the warehouses at Sowerby Bridge. He is an MBA.

Jon Stopp

Social entrepreneur, business mentor, NCVO member, former trustee Citizens Advice and Cuerden Valley park operations board, current Lancashire countryside ranger, Sustrans ranger and, Woodland Trust champion.

Iain Taylor

Director, IMT Consulting and Executive Director of Atlantic Gateway, Chair of Community Forests Trust and Chair of the NW Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee.  Governor of St Anne’s Primary School.

Last date edited: 13 March 2019