Our Board

Meet the Board

Clive Sykes, Chairman


Clive is currently non-executive Chairman of Sykes Cottages Ltd.  A business he founded, literally, on his mother’s kitchen table in the Yorkshire Dales in 1991.

Sykes Cottages acts as a booking agent for a portfolio of around 6000 holiday cottages and second homes across the UK and Ireland. This year, the Company will sell over 150k holidays and employs circa 200 people locally. At the beginning of the year, Sykes was identified as one of London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, and for the last two years has won the British Travel Award for Best Large Holiday Cottage Agent.

Clive became Chairman of Sykes Cottages following a Private Equity investment of £51M in January 2015. Prior to that, he was ‘hands on’ responsible for Sykes Cottages - overseeing it’s growth from its humble beginnings to where it is today.

As well as having the considerable operational and sales experience associated with running a growing business, Clive is also a marketeer. His marketing skills range from brochure production and design to the online world of website design and build, PPC and SEO campaigns and strategy. He also has a good understanding of social media and CRO.

Clive's family has been involved in UK tourism for as long as he can remember his parents ran a small hotel in the Yorkshire Dales and were involved in letting out holiday cottages for more than 40 years.

He is a seasoned entrepreneur and enjoy building a business, overcoming challenges and solving problems. He has lived in Chester since 1996 and is passionate about the City of Chester, the County of Cheshire and UK tourism in general.

Katrina Michel, Chief Executive


Katrina has a strong marketing and business development background. She started her working life in the public sector at the Foreign Office before moving into marketing roles at Ogilvy and Cheetham Bell before taking Cheetham Bell into the WPP group to revive the J Walter Thompson Manchester office. Latterly in her own consultancy roles she has worked on projects for American Express and Unilever.




Christing Gaskell, Chair, Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership

ristineChristine has spent most of her career in the Motor industry and from 1995 until 2012 she was a Member of the Board at Bentley Motors Limited with responsibility for 4,000 employees worldwide.  She was also Chair of the Rolls Royce and Bentley Pension Fund.

Under Christine, Bentley invested significantly in improving the skills and capability of its workforce, winning regional and national recognition for its programmes.

Christine has been actively involved in promoting learning and skills and in 2012 she was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to training and apprenticeships.

Christine was appointed as the first Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership in March 2011.

Amongst her other appointments Christine is on the Board of Total People Ltd, one of the region’s largest work based learning providers, and is a trustee of The Manufacturing Institute, an independent charity which provides high quality training and consultancy to manufacturing companies.  Christine is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire.



Jonathan Slater


Jonathan has been Managing Director of The Chester Grosvenor for nearly 25 years, and a member of our Board since 2004.

He also chairs Marketing Cheshire’s Audit and Remuneration Committee.

He is Vice President of Chester Business Club.

Jonathan is now in his third term as Chairman of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a marketing consortium representing in excess of 500 luxury hotels in over 70 countries.

A founder director of the consortium, he is passionate about active participation in its worldwide development, focusing on brand distribution and global reservations.

An inexhaustible supporter of tourism to the UK and committed to introducing Cheshire to every corner of the globe, Jonathan undertakes a number of overseas sales trips around the world each year.

Roger Gorham


Roger is a Director of Bride Hall Holdings, where he is responsible for the asset management of the investment portfolio.

His current workload is primarily focused on three shopping centres in Chester, Edgware and Epsom, which total over 900,000sq.ft.

During his career Roger has worked for Hammerson plc, initially being responsible for the asset management of Hammerson’s UK Shopping Centres including Brent Cross, and Merseyway Stockport and latterly working on the large retail-led city centre redevelopments at The Oracle Reading and Bullring Birmingham.

Roger has also worked on the Warner Estate Holdings Agora Fund’s development portfolio which included the redevelopment of Market Hall Bolton (100,000 sq.ft), the master-planning of Birkenhead Town Centre (750,000 sq.ft) and the development options for The Pallasades, Birmingham.

Andy Farrall


Andy is Executive Director, Environment and Regeneration at Warrington Borough Council where he is a member of the Council’s Senior Management Team.

He leads the regeneration and economic growth programme for the Borough.

Andy took a central role in establishing Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and the Atlantic Gateway Partnership.

Andy was previously Strategic Director (Development) at Chester City Council where he led the development and delivery of the Chester Renaissance programme.

Prior to Chester, Andy was Associate Director at London based architectural and planning consultants, Tibbalds Monro, leading on regeneration, tourism, urban design and development projects throughout the UK and Ireland.

Andy worked for Hull City Council leading on the regeneration of Hull’s City Centre, Old Town and Docklands and before that was employed Monmouth District Council and Rhymney Valley District Council in South Wales.

Andy is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Andy was Chair of the English Historic Town’s Forum, Hon Sec of the Urban Design Group, Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute (North West Branch) and was a Board member of Culture North West.

He is currently a Board member of Warrington and Co (Warrington’s Regeneration Partnership), the Cheshire and Warrington Economic Commission and the Evergreen General Partner Board.

Originally from North Wales, Andy lives in Chester.

Elyn Corfield


Elyn Corfield is the CFO of MBNA where she is responsible for all financial aspects of the MBNA Card Services business in Chester, including reporting to Regulators, Board of Directors, Auditors and Internal Management.

Prior to being appointed CFO Elyn led the Finance Reporting, MI and Balance Sheet analytics team. She was responsible for all Finance business reporting and MI, including story board Corporate reporting and interaction, together with Board of Director reporting. This includes responsibility for the consolidation of forecasts and plans, target setting, financial sensitivity analysis and monitoring of financial performance with the appropriate communication.

In addition she had responsibility for Balance Sheet analytics including Interest Rate risk, Funding, Liquidity and Capital reporting, forecasting and stress testing. This includes ICAAP management, capital assessment and risk management scorecards for Basel reporting and monitoring.

Elyn joined MBNA in 2001 as Business Development Finance Manager for UK Credit Card before moving to the Europe Central BFO role in 2002 being the main inter face with the U.S. for nearly 6 years including the period through the BAC/MBNA purchase and subsequent transition. In addition Elyn held roles focusing on process improvement and resource alignment before moving into a role to head up the Finance Capital and Strategy function for 3 years embedding the Basel requirements, routines and reporting required for both capital and liquidity management.

Before joining the bank, Elyn held various Finance positions at Lookers Plc, a large motor group based in the UK and Northern Ireland, having joined in 1990 Elyn held the position of Management Accountant and Information Development Manager.

Elyn graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1990, after studying Business and Finance, qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1996 and is currently an associate member of CIMA.

Elyn lives with her family in Chester, UK.

Adrian Bull


Adrian Bull is Director of External Relations for the UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). He has responsibility for co-ordinating NNL’s external links, communications, profile and reputation across the UK and – increasingly - internationally. As such, Adrian is closely involved with a wide range of stakeholders including politicians, Government officials, media, customers, industry organisations and universities amongst many others. Prior to taking up this role in 2012, Adrian was Head of Media and Stakeholder Relations for Westinghouse, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He has worked on many submissions to UK Government consultations on nuclear and energy policy matters, and has given evidence to several UK Government Committees on energy issues.

Adrian chairs the Marketforce Nuclear Issues Group - a small group of senior executives from across the nuclear industry, which meets quarterly to discuss key policy, economic and regulatory developments and their implications across the sector. He has previously chaired both the NIA’s Communications Working Group and the North of England Steering Group for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear. He sits on a number of other regional, national and international committees for bodies such as FORATOM, the Confederation of British Industry and the Nuclear Institute. Adrian is a Fellow of the UK Energy Institute and in December 2011 was honoured to be named as the recipient of the Young Generation Network’s Award for Outstanding Contribution.

Outside work, Adrian is married with 3 children and lives in Manchester, and in his spare time is an occasional fire-eater and fire-breather.


Cllr Les Gilbert

lesgilbertCommunities Portfolio Holder at Cheshire East Council

Les practised as a solicitor for 35 years and has lived in Cheshire for most of that time.  He retired in 2007 and was elected as a Cheshire East Councillor at its inception in 2009.  He currently serves as Member for Dane Valley Ward and Cabinet Member for Communities.  His portfolio includes Tatton Park and the Visitor Economy.



Cllr Brian Clarke

briansclarkeCabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, Cheshire West & Chester




Rebecca Burton - Assistant Director (Operations), The National Trust

Jamie Christon BA (Hons)

jamieManaging Director, North of England Zoological Society/Chester Zoo

After graduating from Leicester University with a degree in politics, Jamie spent his first 10 years working in core high street food and department store management in the North West and then across the rest of the UK.  In 2003, Jamie joined Manchester Airport Group, heading up commercial operations at East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth Airports.  In 2007 he was appointed Commercial Director at Exeter Airport and went on to take over the role of Managing Director of Exeter Airport.  More recently Jamie has been responsible for group on-board operations for Stena Line.  Jamie joined the Society in July 2013 in the role of Managing Director.



Angie Robinson

Angie Robinson

Angie is Chief Executive of Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Formerly she was Chief Executive of MIDAS (Manchester Inward Investment Development and Advisory Service) and before that Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She joined the Board of Marketing Cheshire in September 2011.

Angie has extensive experience as a non-executive Director in both the Public and Private Sectors.

Angie has lived in Cheshire for the last 28 years.



Howard R Hopwood

Chairman, HARMAN Technology Limited

Howard Hopwood

Howard has worked in the Photographic Business for 40 years and is Chairman of HARMAN technology, which is the company that bought the ILFORD Black and White business in 2004 out of receivership.

He began as a Research Chemist, developing Silver Halide emulsions then moved into Technical Service to support the launch of the world’s first Chromogenic Black and White Film (the negative contained no silver).

Subsequently, Howard moved into marketing where he established ILFORD as ‘Best in Black and White’ through the establishment of International Sales and Marketing Teams and the launching of leading edge Black and White Films and Papers.

When ILFORD moved into Digital Photography, in the 1990’s, Howard became Head of Worldwide Marketing and launched the first ILFORD Inkjet printing materials for home and professional use, as well as Inkjet products for Wide Format Graphics.

As Marketing Director Howard introduced new traditional Black and White Papers that could be printed from Digital files and established the HARMAN Brand as a high quality Inkjet Brand that is now used on Fine Art products by Hahnemuehle.

Howard is Chairman of HARMAN technology based in Mobberley and has responsibility for new business development.

Philip Cox, Chief Executive of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership


Philip joined Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership in July 2014.  His role is to lead the Enterprise Partnership towards its objective to make Cheshire and Warrington a £35bn economy by 2030.

Prior to joining Cheshire and Warrington, Philip was a Civil Servant, most recently as the Director for Local Economies at DCLG.

His background is as an Economist and his Civil Service career has included serving as the Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minster and working on issues such as the sale of the Millennium Dome to create the O2 Arena, renegotiation of the contract to build the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now HS1), the establishment of Enterprise Zones and overall responsibility for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in England.