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Board Member's Profiles

Board Members


Dr Andrew Roberts – Chairman of the Board

Andrew is Managing Director of Pennine Ltd, a locally based technology company, and a past pupil of the College (1976-78). In May 2011, at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Andrew received a Highly Commended Certificate for outstanding contribution to Telecommunications from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as part of the annual Prince Philip Medal awards. Andrew is also the Governor of a local Primary School and Trustee of a Young Persons charity.  He received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Bolton in 2018 for his outstanding contribution to education.


Andrew is the Chair of the Board, the Search and Governance Committee and the Resources Committee.


Andrew Fawcett - Vice Chairman of the Board

Andrew is the Executive Director of the Greater Manchester Provider Network which represents the interests of over a hundred colleges and Skills Providers.  Prior to this he held senior positions in the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning and Skills Council.


Andrew is committed to improving the skills and employment system in Greater Manchester and having worked alongside the College for several years, welcomes the opportunity to work as a Governor – something which he has done for the majority of his working life.


Andrew recognises the vital contribution which colleges make to both the lives of individuals in terms of the communities they serve, and to the employers they support.  He feels that as a Governor he can support the College to make an even greater impact through support and challenge.


Andrew is the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee.


Bill Webster - Principal

Bill was appointed, as the permanent Principal of the College with effect from 13th February 2019, having acted as Interim Principal from 1st December 2017 to 12th February 2019.


Bill is a qualified marketer with over twenty five years’ senior management experience in the education and business sectors. Bill was previously the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Development) and Deputy to the Vice Chancellor at the University of Bolton. This role is a senior post holder appointment with responsibility for institutional advancement, business development and enterprise, student recruitment and student employability business. He was previously a Company Director of an education and training consultancy and Director of Community Partnership Solutions, a business focussed on developing corporate social responsibility strategies for industry.  This included a consultancy role as CEO of the Backstage Academy Ltd, a private training provider in the live events industry.


Prior experience as the Deputy Principal at one of the largest FE Colleges in the country (annual turnover circa £40m) including an extended period as the Acting Principal and accounting officer.


Prior to this, he lived and worked for seven years in Hong Kong in a senior role in the higher vocational education sector. This followed extensive experience lecturing in Asia and the Middle East. Before leaving the UK he worked as a Principal Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism and was seconded to the University’s newly-formed Business Development Centre.


He is a member of the Resources Committee, the Search and Governance Committee and the Standards and Performance Committee.


Sue Lomax

Sue was a student at Bolton College where she subsequently taught and led the implementation of NVQs across the College. She owned and ran her own business for 28 years. She was a senior manager at Bolton and Bury TEC with responsibility for youth and adult training. Moving to Manchester TEC, Sue implemented a standards and new quality monitoring procedure, which was aligned to the new Training Standards Council inspection framework. In 2001 Sue joined the Greater Manchester Learning and Skills Council as an area manager with responsibility for all post-16 activities and procurement.


Sue has extensive experience in Work Based Learning, Further Education, Schools, Regeneration and Economic Development, Apprenticeships, Area Inspections, Foundation Learning City Strategies, Local Authority Agreements and Sub Regional Governance.


Sue is the Chair of the Standards and Performance Committee.


Kate Flood

Kate is the Chief Commercial Officer for Hill Biscuits Ltd with commercial responsibility for a £24m premier biscuit manufacturer servicing retail, wholesale and the foodservice sectors.


Working with the College, Kate has established a keen interest in the development of young people and their preparedness for working life.  She believes that she can bring a positive contribution to the College Board in helping shape the agendas and provide a pragmatic employers’ perspective on the strategic plans of the College.


Kate is a member of the Resources Committee and Remuneration Committee.


Stephanie Nixon

Stephanie has worked in the Education Sector for more than 20 years - 12 of these in FE colleges, followed by more than 10 years in Study Abroad recruitment at the University of Manchester. Prior to this she worked for a large multinational PLC in the aerospace industry.


Stephanie's background is Marketing, Public Relations, and International Recruitment. During her time as a manager of Marketing, School Liaison and Admissions in FE, she won many national marketing awards, and during her time at the University of Manchester, income from short-term Study Abroad students increased by more than 350%. Stephanie is a member of the Audit Committee.


Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

Baroness Warsi is a lawyer, businesswoman, author, commentator, campaigner, philanthropist and politician. Baroness Warsi has held many roles, however she is best known for being the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet. Sayeeda has also been a long-term racial justice campaigner and was instrumental in the launch of Operation Black Vote, a not-for-profit national organisation that works towards greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK.


Gulnaz Brennan

Gulnaz is the Editor & Publisher of the ChaiTimes- a community Newspaper for Bolton and Founder of the Inspirational Women of Bolton Awards.


Gulnaz is an active member of the Bolton community and volunteers extensively and understands Governors are volunteers who make an invaluable contribution to the development of excellence in colleges.


“As a member of the governing board, I can be a small part of the mission and vision and help set goals in accordance to the local community needs. Becoming a governor has provided me with many opportunities to contribute to my local community and an excellent way of learning and developing much needed strategic leadership skills.”


Gulnaz is a member of the Audit Committee.


Professor George E Holmes DL

Professor Holmes has worked within Further Education and Universities since 1984.  He is currently the President & Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, a post he took up on 1 January 2006.  Prior to joining the University, Professor Holmes was Principal of Doncaster College and Chief Executive of the Doncaster Education City Project.  During his tenure as Principal and Chief Executive at Doncaster (2001-2006) the college grew to be one of the largest in the UK with turnover increasing from £25m to £38m per annum and the college balance sheet growing in value from circa £25m to circa £75m during the same period. Reserves grew by £9m.


The college had a successful Ofsted inspection in November 2004 and financial management and governance were reported to be in the “good category” in a report by the LSC’s Audit Team in January 2005.  As Chief Executive of Doncaster Education City, Professor Holmes secured funding from the LSC National Office for the largest capital project in the history of the UK’s Further Education sector. The new Doncaster College (45,000 square metres) commenced construction in April 2004. The project was completed in April 2006.


Prior to joining Doncaster College, Professor Holmes was the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of North London (UNL) with a turnover of £85m per annum (now the London Metropolitan University, turnover circa £150 per annum), where in addition to responsibility for Institutional strategic planning, he led UNL’s preparations for the QAA Audit in 1999.  UNL had a very successful outcome.  In 2002, along with the Vice Chancellor of UNL, Brian Roper, Professor Holmes initiated the merger of the University of North London with Guild Hall University, the first full merger of two universities to take place in England.


Professor Holmes has also held a variety of management and academic posts in universities including Leeds Metropolitan and Lincoln.  He was both Dean of Business and Management and Academic Director within the Vice Chancellor’s Office at Lincoln and prior to this, Head of Department at Leeds Metropolitan University.


For 9 years, Professor Holmes was joint editor of the International Journal “Quality Assurance in Education”, published by MCB Press.  He has been an editorial Board Member for 4 further journals.  During his career he has published a number of articles and book chapters (approximately 15).  He has been External Examiner in 5 Universities and a BTEC Moderator.


He began his career in Further Education as both a lecturer in Business Studies and Economics and as a Senior Lecturer with responsibilities for BTEC Programmes.  He holds a Doctorate in the field of Education, a Master’s in Business Administration and a BSc in Economics.  Professor Holmes is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.   In 2002 he was appointed by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills as advisor to the Department, becoming, along with Sir Ron Cooke, one of only two Sector representatives for the Department's HE Policy Delivery Steering Group - which was assisting in the preparation of the HE White Paper.  Professor Holmes was, for six years until 2014, on the Board of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and was formerly on the Board of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club.  He was formerly a Governor of Bolton School, Bolton Wanderers Free School, and the ESSA Academy Trust. He is a founding Trustee of the Bolton University Technical College.


In 2015, Professor Holmes was appointed by Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of the County of Greater Manchester as one of his Deputy Lieutenants.


He is a member of the Resources Committee and the Remuneration Committee.


Dr Gill Waugh

Gill is the current Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies at the University of Bolton, and has extensive experience of working in both the Higher and Further Education sectors.  She began her career at the University as a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Training with a specialism of training literacy teachers, before becoming Programme Manager and then Academic Manager in the School of Arts, Media and Education and later the Faculty of Well-Being and Social Science. Prior to joining the University, Gill worked for Bolton College, Bury College, the Training and Enterprise Council and Accrington and Rossendale College.


Gill has taught in Singapore and Russia and has delivered teacher training in China.  She has worked as an adjudicator for Professional Recognition with Standards Verification UK and was involved nationally in the revisions of the Teacher Training Programme for Post Compulsory Education with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service through the 2007 and 2011 revisions.


Her qualifications include BA (Hons) in Language and Literacy, Certificate in Education, MEd in Managing the Curriculum, Literacy Subject Specialist Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma in Post Compulsory Education, Postgraduate Diploma (TESOL), MA Applied Linguistics (TESOL and Literacy), and a Doctor of Education.


Gill is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee.


Tony Unsworth

Tony Unsworth is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and worked in the accountancy profession for over 11 years.  He held senior financial positions in the engineering/manufacturing industry before moving into the Higher Education sector in 2001.  Tony has worked at the University of Bolton for over 10 years and is currently the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Resources).


Tony is a member of the Resources Committee.



Deborah Bradburn

Deborah Bradburn is the Clerk to the Board and she supports and advises the Board in relation to its role, responsibilities and remit.


Deborah has over 10 years’ experience as a legal compliance advisor. She has a degree in Law and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.



Chris Ball

Chris has over 30 years' experience in Further and Higher Education including 13 years as a College Principal. He led the successful transformation of a failing General Further Education College and a land based College in Leicestershire. Chris has also been a part-time Ofsted Inspector and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for outstanding services to Further Education.



Dr Adrian Brooks

Adrian has over 40 years’ experience in the entertainment industry. Adrian is the Chairman and Managing Director of a number of innovative businesses across the entertainment sector.  Dr Brooks founded Litestructures in 1990, LS-Live rehearsal studios on 2005 and Backstage Academy in 2009.  Backstage Academy is an educational facility dedicated to behind-the-scenes support to the entertainment industry. Adrian has also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for his outstanding contribution to business and entertainment.



Mr Farhad Ahmad – Co-opted Member

Farhad is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with experience of technical and group accounting and worked in the accountancy profession for over 10 years.  He has held senior financial positions internationally in the financial services industry and has worked at Ernst & Young, Deloitte and is currently at the Technical Financial Reporting Manager for the Co-operative Bank Plc.


Farhad is a member of the Audit Committee.



Fardean Farooq

Fardean is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee