New ambassadors announced with 12 big ideas to see communities benefit from the city’s successes: headrowandtownhallatnight.jpg

06 Nov 2019

New ambassadors announced with 12 big ideas to see communities benefit from the city’s successes

Inclusive growth

A group of 12 private, public and third sector ambassadors have been announced for Leeds as part of a strategy to ensure disadvantaged communities in the city realise the benefits of a thriving and growing city.

Each of the new ambassadors will take responsibility for one of the 12 big ideas that form the basis of the Leeds Inclusive Growth strategy across three categories of people, place and productivity.

Launched in 2018, the strategy sets out how Leeds City Council, the private sector, universities, colleges and schools, the third sector and social enterprises in the city will work together to grow the Leeds economy ensuring that everyone in the city, is able to contribute to and benefit from its growth.

The Inclusive Growth ambassadors will have an influence over, and be key drivers of the strategy for the city and will work with the council and other partners to bring forward successes.

This week the group met for the first time as the start of their journey to driving this agenda. Nigel Foster, a founder and director of Fore Consulting will work with the lead ambassadors in each of the three areas to help to develop and promote the city’s plans for inclusive growth.

The other ambassadors include:


  1. Best City for Health and Wellbeing

Kate Hainsworth (lead)

CEO, Leeds Community Foundation

  1. Children and Young People at the Heart of the Growth Strategy

Scott D Lobley

Managing Architect, Telefonica O2

  1. Employers and People at the Centre of the Education and Skills System

Tina Turnbull

CEO, People Matters

  1. Working to Create Better Jobs, Tackling Low Pay and Boosting Productivity

Craig Burton

Founder and Managing Director, The Works Recruitment


  1. Supporting Places and Communities to Respond to Economic Change

Sawsan Zaza andRichard Jackson

Director, DAMSASQChief Officer, Voluntary Action Leeds

  1. Doubling the Size of the City Centre

Hiro Aso

Leader, Urban Transport UKEMEA at HASSELL

  1. Building a Federal Economy – Creating Jobs Close to Communities

Sophie Michelena

Development Manager, Locality

  1. 21st Century Infrastructure

Kerry Whalley

Associate Director, ARUP


  1. Leeds as a Digital City

Sarah Tulip

Development Director - Digital, EY

  1. Backing Innovators and Entrepreneurs in Business and Social Enterprises

Dawn O’Keefe (lead)

Founder and CEO, Shine

  1. Promoting Leeds and Yorkshire


  1. Maximising the Economic Benefits of Culture

James Brining

Artistic Director and CEO, Leeds Playhouse

One final ambassador will be chosen in the next few weeks to cover ‘promoting Leeds and Yorkshire’.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

In Leeds we are all about our people and communities and realising benefits for the city as a whole.

“It is great to have 12 new ambassadors coming on board from such wide ranging backgrounds to move forward with our ambitions across the inclusive growth agenda.

“As a city we are naturally collaborative, with a track record of progress and success in this area and we want to make the very most of these successes as we continue to grow and thrive and ensure that the whole city is able to reap the benefits.

Nigel Foster, director at Fore Consulting and lead for the ambassadors said:

“As a group we will look to and bring together people across different organisations across the city to harness their skills and experience for the benefit of all our communities.

“Being able to bring together a group of people, across wide ranging sectors and organisations will be of huge benefit to the inclusive growth agenda, and it is exciting to help shape an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future for our city.”

Notes to editors:

For more information about each of the 12 ambassadors visit

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team