The Team

Meet the fantastic Invest in Bolton team who all work for Bolton Council.

  • Tony Oakman Chief Executive

    Tony is Currently Chief Executive for Bolton Council and has worked in the public sector for over 30 years.

    Tony has a wealth of experience in delivering and creating the conditions for inclusive prosperity, growth and connectivity at scale. With a strong track record of partnership working, delivering transformation and working with partners on regeneration, place-based vision and new ways of working.

    He has ensured that Bolton will continue to play a strong role in the City Region and beyond to ensure the Borough is well placed and represented. His focus and determination on delivering major regeneration projects in Bolton have helped secure greater economic prosperity and growth for the future, including the new town centre masterplan, Logistics North and Rivington Chase developments.

  • Gerry Brough Director of Place

    Gerry has worked as Corporate Director of Place at Bolton council for over three years and is dedicated to delivering the Town Centre Masterplan.

    He has worked in Economic Development and Regeneration since 1984 and has a wealth of experience across public and private sectors. In his early career he worked for the Scottish Enterprise as a freelance consultant and an adviser to many Investment Agencies and Government Ministries in Central and Eastern Europe.

    His public sector experience includes Project Director at Aberdeen City Council delivering several major regeneration projects, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council as their Corporate Director for Regeneration Services and an interim role with South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils to produce a development master-plan and initiate other major development projects.

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    Paul Whittingham Assistant Director Economic Development and Regeneration

    Paul has worked in the public sector for over 35 years across Greater Manchester and Lancashire. He has a wealth of experience in planning and regeneration. He started as Head of Development Management at Bolton Council three years ago before being promoted to Assistant Director. Paul is passionate about building communities and is committed to the delivering the Town Centre Masterplan for Bolton.

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    Michelle Horrocks Interim Head of Economic Development

    Michelle has worked in the public sector for 25 years and focuses on all aspects of town centre regeneration including overall programme management, master planning, strategy development and delivery, Housing Strategy and Growth, Planning Strategy, Business Support, Employment and Skills. Working on successful regeneration and large capital programmes in the town centre including Newport Street Shop Front scheme and the Transport Interchange. Michelle is leading on funding bids for Rivington Chase, Future High Streets Fund for Bolton town centre and Farnworth and the Towns Fund.

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    Michelle Harris Acting Head of Legal Projects

    Michelle has worked for Bolton Council for over 12 years and has successfully worked on corporate and property matters for the authority, including Building Schools for the Future, Large Scale Voluntary Transfer and formation of Bolton Cares Limited, a local authority trading company delivering adult social care. She has worked on the Town Centre Regeneration Plan since 2017 and provides legal support on a number of matters including property, procurement, contracts, state aid, best value and governance amongst others.

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    Nicola Littlewood Marketing & Communications Manager

    Nicola has worked at Bolton Council and has over 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sector. Her experience includes the development of the award-winning Bolton place brand along with project management of a number of capital build projects and high profile national and international events. She has extensive experience in leading teams through challenging times and periods of great change, supporting the organisation and it is requirement to save money and deliver its priorities.

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    Joanne Duxbury Estates and Property Development Manager (Town Centres)

    Joanne is a qualified Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years experience, mainly at Bolton Council. She has a wealth of public sector experience across all areas and has played a major role in all the Councils significant disposals and acquisitions in recent years as well as managing the Councils investment estate and working with the third sector. She now works across all the Town Centre Intervention Areas advising on property matters as part of a multi-disciplinary team identifying key acquisitions opportunities, managing assets within those areas and the disposal of surplus interests.

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    Cathy Wignall Town Centres Regeneration Programme Manager

    Cathy joined the team in January and has an oversight of all individual projects and manages the submission of the Towns Fund which seeks to secure £25m funding for the regeneration of the Civic and Cultural Quarter in Bolton Town Centre. Previously she worked for over 10 years for Deloitte as a regeneration advisor to Local Governments across the UK and internationally. She is an RICS accredited Planning and Development Surveyor by background with a focus on delivering large-scale mixed-use town and city centre regeneration projects.

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    Caroline Hansell Principal Project Officer

    Caroline has worked in regeneration for 15 years and has a wealth of experience in managing and completing regeneration projects, including Little Bolton Townscape Heritage initiative and Newport Street Gateway. Key projects she is working on for Invest in Bolton include Church Wharf and Farnworth town centre as well as leading the development of master plans for Horwich, Little Lever and Westhoughton District Centres.

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    Phil Lamb Principal Project Officer

    Phil has worked in regeneration for over seven years and works on the implementation of the Town Centre Regeneration plan via project and financial management of large development schemes including Trinity Quarter and Cheadle Square. This includes developing briefs for sites that outline the council’s aspirations and objectives, producing action plans for the district centres, giving the responses to major planning applications and providing advice to businesses and the general public.

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    Laura Boardman Principal Project Officer

    Laura has worked in regeneration in the public sector for 16 years and has a Masters in Regeneration and Development. She works on the Town Centre Regeneration plan ensuring that the regeneration and social values are met, her strategic intervention areas include Crompton Place and Croal Valley. Laura leads on progressing funding applications for the town centre including Future High Street Fund and the Housing Infrastructure marginal viability fund. She works as part of the project team for the Rivington Chase development.