Panel Session: Bradford’s New Direction

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Event Title:

Bradford’s New Direction

Scheduled Time:

13:00pm until 14:30pm

Confirmed Speakers:

Nasser Malik, Andy Welsh, Ian Ward, Ben Fletcher, Sandy Needham, Julian Jackson


Following on from the highly successful panel sessions 'Bradford: What's Next?' in 2014 and 'Bradford NOW' in 2015, YEN Expo 2016 will now host another panel session discussing the economic growth in Bradford and how the city will move forward from a business perspective. The session will be a superb opportunity to engage with some of Bradford's leading stakeholders and is an open forum to discuss the business landscape of Bradford and what the future holds.

The question and answer format will be similar to BBC’s 'Question Time', making this a seminar that you won't want to miss!


Bradfords New Direction - Nasser Malik Bradfords New Direction - Andy Welsh Bradfords New Direction - Ian Ward
Bradfords New Direction - Ben Fletcher Bradfords New Direction - Sandy Needham Bradfords New Direction - Julian Jackson

Speaker Profiles


Nasser Malik

Chief Executive | NMC Galaxy
Chairman | Malik House Business Centres
Chairman | Yorkshire Enterprise Network

Nasser is Chief Executive of NMC Galaxy, specialists in retail consumer credit, retail financial services, FCA compliance, data management, and all aspects of BPO (on-shore and off-shore).

Previously he was Financial Services Director at Express Gifts Ltd (main trading business of Findel Plc), responsible for Credit Management, Risk, Collections, Debt Recovery, Financial Products & Services, Customer Operations, including all Call Centres in the UK and abroad; and Back-Office operations.

Nasser's previous roles include:

• Head of Credit for Orange and Hutchison Telecom, with responsibility for Group credit/FS Operations (UK, France, and Germany)
• Head of Credit at Grattan Plc (Otto UK) with responsibility for all aspects of Credit, Risk, Collections, and Debt Management/Recovery
• Empire Stores Plc (now Redcats) with responsibilities for Statistical modelling and Risk Assessment systems
• Extensive experience of BPO strategy and operations (onshore and offshore)
• Speaker at conferences across UK and Europe, including Guernsey, Sweden and Germany

Andy Welsh

Chief Executive Officer | Bradford College Group
Director and Trustee | Bradford College Education Trust
Director and Deputy Chair | UNIPOL Student Homes

Andy became Chief Executive Officer of the Bradford College Group in August 2014. The Group consists of several associated or subsidiary companies, including City Training Services, Inprint and Design, Beacon Recruitment and Bradford College Education Trust.

Andy took up the position after working for Bradford College for more than ten years as Chief Operating Officer, responsibility for building services, facilities, environmental issues, human resources, technology and library services. Andy was also the ‘Project Sponsor’ and man behind Bradford College’s Accommodation Strategy, which involves an exciting series of large capital projects aimed at making the campus an excellent centre for teaching and learning in the 21st century.

This began with the development of the Trinity Green Campus in 2008, The David Hockney Building in September 2014 and the new Advanced Technologies Centre in September 2015. The new buildings have been tailor made for interactive and innovative ways of learning, giving the students at Bradford College the very best chance of success, with the very best of facilities. The new campuses will continue the College’s ongoing commitment to positively contribute to the regeneration of Bradford, its people and its industries.

Ian Ward

General Manager | The Broadway, Bradford
Board of Trustees | Alder Hey RMHC

Ian Ward has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail sector, beginning with leading fashion and food brands Marks & Spencer and Safeway.

He joined Land Securities in 2008 managing the Stratford Centre in East London, guiding the scheme through a major operational transformation to reduce crime levels and improve the shopping environment for both customers and staff.

Ian returned to the North in 2010, taking on the role of centre director at St Johns Shopping Centre, Liverpool. He managed the shopping centre throughout a period of huge transition. St Johns was sold to InfraRed Capital Partners and Ian oversaw a multimillion pound redevelopment, throughout which the centre remained fully operational. Footfall at St Johns grew year on year under Ian’s leadership, against the backdrop of building works and the toughest economic climate seen in a generation.

Ian’s time in Liverpool saw him take up high profile roles elsewhere in the city. He led the way on developing strategic partnerships with local organisations, both as a non-executive director at St George’s Quarter and chairman of Liverpool City Central BID executive board, representing more than 630 businesses in Liverpool City Centre.

Ian’s appointment as Chairman of the BID followed his efforts to bring the UK’s very first privately funded city centre police station to Liverpool. When government funding cutbacks threatened the level of visible policing in the city, Ian worked with City Central BID and Merseyside Police to fund and fit out a police station within St Johns.

Ian maintains his place on the Board of Trustees at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s Ronald McDonald House. Here, as well as assisting in large scale fundraising, he offers an advisory voice to the charity on capital expenditure and management of building works.

In 2016, Ian crossed the Pennines to become general manager of The Broadway, Bradford. The hotly anticipated £260m Westfield development opened just months before his arrival. Ian brings his vast experience to the scheme as he works to cement The Broadway’s position as the heart and soul of Bradford.

Ben Fletcher

Managing Director | Boots Opticians
Board Member | British Retail Consortium

Ben Fletcher was appointed Managing Director, Boots Opticians in October 2013 and is responsible for leading the Boots Opticians Business across 640 stores and 5,000 colleagues. Boots Opticians has been formed from the merger of Dollond & Aitchison and Boots Opticians in May 2009.

Ben was previously Finance Director of Boots UK & Ireland and joined Boots UK as Commercial Finance Director in July 2011.

Prior to this, he was Finance Director for the global Salon Professional division at Procter and Gamble (P&G). During his 12 years at P&G, Ben worked in a variety of finance roles in the UK and Western Europe.

Ben is a board member of the British Retail Consortium and chairs the Audit & Risk Committee.

In a little over a year Ben has brought Boots Opticians into a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, which includes committing 90,000 hours of volunteering, publishing a children’s book to help screened undiagnosed eye problems and optician colleagues across the country have both fundraised and visited hundreds of schools. The partnership is built around our shared aims: reaching the estimated 1 million children with undiagnosed eye problems and by doing so enabling them to learn and gain the skills and opportunities they deserve.

Sandy Needham

Chief Executive | West and North Yorkshire Chamber

Sandy Needham is the Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber, the leading business organisation for the Bradford, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire, offering lobbying and a large range of business services. In the last ten years the Chamber has created a fund to lend to companies, built managed offices and industrial units for growing businesses and created networks for specific sectors and areas of work e.g. manufacturing alliances.

Earlier roles include working as a Company Secretary in a small company, Regional Manager with TV-am and Yorkshire Television, Regional Manager with NCH/Action for Children, Regional Director of Common Purpose and Chief Executive of Chamber Management Services Ltd and the Bradford Chamber.

Sandy is a Trustee of the John Speak Foreign Languages Foundation and a non-executive director of Business Enterprise Finance Ltd, a community development finance institution lending to businesses. Other roles include being a member of the Bradford Producer City Board and the Prosperity Board and of the Leeds Business Improvement District. Sandy is a member of the National Women’s Two Percent Club.

Hobbies include skiing, cycling, film and reading thrillers in German.

Julian Jackson

Assistant Director of Regeneration for Planning, Transportation and Highways | City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Julian Jackson is Assistant Director of Regeneration for Planning, Transportation and Highways at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and as such is a member of the Regeneration Department’s Management Team. He has been in post since March 2009. Before coming to Bradford he was Head of Development Services at London Borough of Enfield and prior to that worked for the London Boroughs of Hackney and Southwark.

Julian is originally from Wakefield and gained his degree in Town Planning from Leeds Metropolitan University. In addition to his Planning degree Julian attained a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Westminster. He is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Julian has a wealth of planning experience working on large scale residential, commercial and mixed use schemes which have contributed to the urban regeneration of town and city centres. His planning experience has predominantly been in the capital working in inner city environments as well as the more suburban areas of London.

Julian’s 25 years of diverse planning experience has ranged from overseeing of commercial schemes of significant scale in the City fringe area of London to Premiership standard sports facilities in the Green Belt. He has also worked on master plans for the regeneration of areas in east London including involvement in the Olympic proposals for regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley. He was responsible for co-ordinating Hackney’s handling of the Olympics proposals at outline application stage. Julian worked in partnership with the Greater London Authority and English Heritage on producing one of the very first Area Action Plans in London. In his management roles Julian has a successful track record in service improvement.

Since his arrival in Bradford Julian has been committed to ensuring that the Planning, Transportation and Highways Service contributes fully to the Council’s transformational plan and supporting its key priorities of regeneration, education and skills. Julian has taken a lead role in ensuring that the Planning and Transportation Service plays a key role in delivering regeneration schemes in Bradford including the award winning City Park, the Broadway Westfield shopping centre and the introduction of Local Listed Building Consents in the historic Little Germany area of the City.

Julian takes a lead role in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region, working closely with the Combined Authority on Regeneration, Planning and Transportation issues and he currently chairs the Leeds City Region Heads of Planning group and is a member of the West Yorkshire Local Transport Board.


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