Bolton School Former Pupils

Manchester Networking Event: The Northern Powerhouse Panel of Speakers

Dr Ebrahim Adia - Provost at University of Central Lancashire and former Deputy for Economic Strategy for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Dr Ebrahim Adia currently serves as Provost at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where he has responsibility for the University's campus in Burnley, Lancashire. Dr Adia is a member of the University's Senior Executive Team, he is the Chair of the University's Ethics and Integrity Committee and the University’s Student Experience Strategy Programme Board.

Ebrahim is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition on Bolton Council and was until recently the Deputy Portfolio Holder for Economic Strategy at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. He is also a Director at the Growth Company which includes internationally renowned brands such as Marketing Manchester and MIDAS. Ebrahim has also been appointed as a Rapporteur by the Council of Europe to investigate the future role of elected members.

Dr Adia’s former roles include serving as Vice-Chair of the Bolton NHS Primary Care Trust for seven years, as a Board member of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for eight years and as an Independent Expert Adviser to the Audit Commission. He had also chaired the Risk and Assurance Committee at the Royal Bolton Hospital in his capacity as Non-Executive Director.

Dr Adia was appointed as a Commissioner on the Commission on Integration and Cohesion by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The report produced by the Commission 'Our Shared Futures' continues to influence public policy in Britain.


Nicola Rigby (Class of 2000) – Director at Avison Young

Nicola leads the Avison Young Regeneration offer across the North West. Nicola provides strategic planning and delivery advisory and market analysis to underpin a range of projects on behalf of public and private sector clients. Nicola has twice been identified within Insiders North West ‘top 100 women of influence’ (2015, 2017). Nicola has over 16 years of regeneration advisory, with expertise in urban change, major projects and town centres, often taking a leadership role within a multi-disciplinary offer.


Richard Walker - Transport Planning & Strategy Adviser, North & Devolution, Department for Transport

Richard is a geographer and chartered town planner with 27 years’ professional experience in transport planning. After 10 years at consultancy Colin Buchanan and Partners, he has worked in the public sector at the Greater London Authority, Strategic Rail Authority and, since 2005, as a civil servant in the Department for Transport. A specialist in transport planning and strategy, he has worked on North of England transport strategy since 2014, including time on loan to Transport for the North. He is a former Chair of the Transport Planning Society.

An Old Boltonian who left the school in 1985, Richard was a Geography Scholar at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and completed his MSc in Urban Planning at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). Through the School he also won an English Speaking Union scholarship to Cranbrook Kingswood School, Michigan, USA in 1986.

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