North West Partnership

The primary purpose of our partnerships is to connect local people and communities with their waterways.

Find out who's who in the North West Waterways Partnership. 


Currently vacant.

Peter Jordan

Peter JordanPeter lives and works next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. He is a keen boater, cyclist and walker of the canal as well as being an occasional canoeist. He is executive director of Newground Together, a charitable arm of Together Housing Group which provides social housing across the Pennines. Peter was involved in the Trust’s successful bid to the Arts Council which is funding the Super Slow Way project across Pennine Lancashire.

Mike Macklin

Mike MacklinA member of the Canal and River Trust’s North West Partnership since 2011, Mike is an experienced boater on the UK waterways. Mike was previously general manager of K Shoes in Kendal and vice president of Wolverine World Wide in the USA. He boats on the Lancaster Canal and is very involved in the partnership’s project to improve the canal as well as having been involved in the restoration proposals for the Northern Reaches.

Joe Parkin

Joe is a keen recreational white water paddler and adventurer. While not out in the wild Joe is earning a living as a structural engineer in a small consultancy firm in Bolton. He is also involved at regional level with British Canoeing, supporting paddlers in the North West through improving facilities on offer to paddlers, number and quality of access to bodies of water and improving communications between different individual clubs and centres of the enjoyment of the individual. As a coach and leader he assists with his local club, Bury Canoe and Kayak Club, to engage and encourage more people to pick up a paddle and get the boating bug like he has.

Gerry Proctor

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 RowlinsonPeter 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. 

Audrey Smith OBE

Audrey Smith OBEAudrey 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, vice chair of WOW partnerships, a member of IWAAC and chair of IWA enterprises. Audrey’s professional background is in education. She has been a member of the Canal and River Trust’s North West Partnership since 2011. 

Nick Mead (co-opted)

Nick MeadNick owns and operates a hotel boat business across the North West and North East of England. He was previously a voluntary director for the YMCA in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Nick has extensive experience in business including international growth with companies such as Ash Projects, Experian plc, Lenton plc, McDonnell Douglas Information Systems, Tesco and General Electric in the USA. Nick is a volunteer around the world helping companies with IT solutions.

Stephen Higham, interim waterway manager

Steve has been with the Trust for 14 years, primarily focusing on securing statutory funding.  He has led the Enterprise (north) team for the last four years, and has also developed and managed a modest yet successful EU funding programme. Given his extensive knowledge of the NW regional office, its assets and staff, Steve has been appointed Interim NW Waterway Manager.  Historical successes in the NW include: securing £1m from HLF for the Lune Aqueduct refurbishment programme in 2012, securing nearly £2m for extensive towpath improvements between Leeds and Bradford as part of the DfT Cycling City Ambition Programme, and also leading on a £2m Arts Council England bid for the pioneering Super Slow Way arts project for Pennine Lancashire.


Last date edited: 8 February 2018