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Board Member's Profiles

Board Members


Dr Andrew Roberts – Chair of the Board


Andrew is Managing Director of Avoira Ltd, a locally based technology company, and a past pupil of the college (1976-78). As a former City & Guilds student, Andrew received a Highly Commended Certificate in May 2011 at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace for outstanding contribution to Telecommunications from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as part of the annual Prince Philip Medal awards. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Bolton in 2018 for his outstanding contribution to education, he has over 30 years’ experience of primary, college and university governance. Andrew is also a Governor of the University of Bolton and Vice Chair of QUEST a Multi Academy Trust which is part of the University of Bolton Group. In 2019 he became an Honorary Doctor of Science at Salford University.


He is also a Trustee of a Young Persons charity. Andrew loves to encourage and champion local businesses and is Chair of Bury Business Leaders Group and local Bury President of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.


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.


Link Governor: 16 – 19 Programmes / T-Levels


Bill Webster 

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     


Dr 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.


Link Governor :  Safeguarding / Apprenticeships


Kate Flood 

Kate is the former 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.


Link Governor: Health and Safety


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.


Link Governor :  Early Years / Mental Health and Well-Being


Professor George E Holmes DL

When appointed to the post of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University in 2005, Professor Holmes became the youngest university head in the UK.  He is now one of the longest serving Vice Chancellors in Britain, having been in post for over 16 years.


Prior to joining the University, the then Dr Holmes was Principal of Doncaster College where he established the Doncaster Education City Project, of which he became Chief Executive.  In this post, he secured the largest capital grant in the history of the FE sector at the time and had responsibility for building a new £75m College on the Waterfront.


George was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of North London (now the London Metropolitan University).  In 1996 he played a central role, within the Vice Chancellor's Office, in the founding of the Lincoln University Campus, opened by HM The Queen.


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


As well as being a member of the Board of Bolton College, George is Chair of the Advisory Panel at Regent College, London.


George is a member of the Resources Committee, Remuneration Committee and Search and Governance Committee.


Dr 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.  


Link Governor:  Finance 


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. Chris is a member of the Audit Committee and Standards and Performance Committee


Link Governor:  High Needs / SEND



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.


Adrian is a member of the Search and Governance Committee



Sharon White

Starting her career as a nurse, Sharon worked in senior commissioning and system leadership roles before joining Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as Director of Strategy and Transformation.

Sharon enables the development and delivery of the Trusts Strategy and Transformation Plans and is responsible for the Trusts digital, communication and engagement function and for the Trusts charity.


Sharon is a member of the Audit Committee


Link Governor:  Digital / Careers and Skills



 Dr Gill Smallwood MBE


Gill is the Chief Executive of Fortalice, a Bolton based charity that provides frontline community services including Refuge accommodation for victims of domestic abuse.  Having worked in education for 28 years, Gill  changed her career in 2011 to help give something back to the community by working in the voluntary sector. 


Gill is one of the founding Directors of 1Point (a gateway to talking therapies), she is also a Director of Bolton Together (children and young people’s consortium) and of the period poverty charity, Fresh as a Daisy.  Gill continues to work in a range of voluntary roles including being a Governor in primary education and is a member of the Police Independent Advisory Panel and Scrutiny Group.


In 2021, Gill received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for her outstanding contribution to Women and Children and was also awarded an MBE for her longstanding work locally, both in the community and with Fortalice. 


Gill is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee


Link governor: Teaching, Learning and Assessment



Dr Julian Coleman


Julian has worked at the University of Bolton for over 20 years.  Having trained as a civil engineering and systems engineer and worked in the engineering sector, Julian joined the Manufacturing Group of the University of Warwick and worked there for 6 years during which time he began his PhD.  He worked closely with companies from the automotive and aerospace sector delivering collaborative research, teaching and CPD provision.  


Julian also worked for the University of Liverpool on a two-year postdoctoral research project with industry partners from the automotive sector.  Since joining the University of Bolton in 2003 he has taught supply chain management and undertaken various management roles including leading the Off Campus Division as Dean and is now Assistant Vice Chancellor for Knowledge Exchange.


Julian is a member of the Audit Committee


Adeeba Gulzar


Adeeba is undertaking GCSE Maths and English programmes.


Adeeba is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee


Ming Fong


Ming has over 30 years of experience in garment-related industries, particularly in machinery equipment and automation. After graduating in Electronic Engineering Ming worked as an engineer, providing service support in garments via Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems. A few years later, he started his own business to further help factories from developing countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia etc. to upgrade from a high labour-intensive industry to being equipped with the latest automation technology, as well as providing consultation services in product development. 


Ming is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee


Tom Martin


Tom is the curriculum leader of Foundation Studies and EDI Champion Leader at the College.  He has worked in Further Education for over 10 years in a number of positions from lecturer, advanced practitioner, English co-ordinator and curriculum leader. 


Tom has always believed that through education we can improve the quality of learner’s lives and that engaging and innovative teaching, learning and assessment can inspire learners to reach heights that they did not envisage.


Tom is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee.



 Claire Garth


Claire is the Admissions and Customer Support Manager who has worked in further education for around 20 years in a variety of job roles. 


Claire has worked in quality assurance with two different awarding organisations and knows the importance of the role of further education in everyone’s life, whether as a young person finding their way into the world of work or as an adult looking to improve skills for work or enjoyment that all add to the benefit of the local community.


Claire is a member of the Standards and Performance Committee