Our people

The Opportunity Area is managed by an independent board, bringing together senior leaders from schools, communities, business and central and local government. These individuals bring experience, insight, and ambition for Blackpool and its young people.

Our Chair – Graham Cowley

Graham-Cowley edited

Graham has a strong track record in regeneration and economic development. As an Executive Director within Capita, Graham developed Capita’s major property and infrastructure partnerships with local government. Since leaving Capita, Graham continues to be actively involved in regeneration and development and is the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Management Board which oversees Lancashire’s Growth Deal.

Partnership board members

  • Alan Cavill: Director of Communications and Regeneration, Blackpool Council
  • Andy Mellor: Headteacher, St Nicholas C of E Primary and Blackpool Teaching School Alliance, Vice President of NAHT
  • Diane Booth: Director of Children’s Services, Blackpool Council
  • Dr Michele Lawty-Jones: Director of the Lancashire Skills Hub
  • Jill Gray: Principal, Blackpool Sixth Form College
  • Maxine Froggatt: Independent Chair of Blackpool School Improvement Board
  • Stephen Tierney: Executive Director at Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust (which includes Blackpool’s Research School)
  • John Stephens: CEO of Bright Futures Educational Trust
  • Collette Gollcher: Senior SEND manager, Blackpool Council

The meetings are also attended by the Regional Schools Commissioner and by the Department for Education Head of Delivery and Area Lead, who provide advice and support to the partnership board.