An image of an empty boardroom

The Warrington Town Deal board is a group of the town's business, leisure, education and political leaders, who are leading on the delivery of our ambitious £22m Town Deal programme.

Read biographies of the board members to find out more about who is driving forward our Town Deal vision.

Board members

Steve Coffey - chair of the Warrington Town Deal Board and CEO Torus

Steve is Chief Executive Officer of Torus, a dynamic growth and regeneration group with deep roots in the Liverpool City Region and Cheshire. With a portfolio of some 40,000 homes, Torus is the North West’s largest stock-holding affordable homes provider and also has a large development pipeline.

A passionate advocate for high-quality and affordable housing, Steve is responsible for Torus’ overall strategic direction, performance and development.

Prior to joining Torus, he led Liverpool Mutual Homes for 10 years as Chief Executive and spearheaded the creation of a strong, diversified and award-winning housing group with a distinct social purpose.

Cllr Jean Flaherty – Warrington Borough Council

Cllr Jean Flaherty's tenure as Mayor of Warrington from 2022 to 2023 was marked by her dedication to representing the town and its interests. With a background in business, a retired managing director with a deep connection to the local community, Cllr Flaherty brings valuable experience and a strong affiliation to the area.

As a local resident herself, Cllr Flaherty understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing the town. Her firsthand experience living and interacting within the community provides valuable insights into the daily lives, concerns, and aspirations of Warrington residents. Cllr Flaherty advocates for initiatives that address the needs of the community, supporting projects which boost economic development and championing those which enhance community services and contribute to the overall well-being and prosperity of Warrington.

David Boyer – Director Environment and Transport, Warrington Borough Council

David graduated from Liverpool University in 1987.  Since graduating he has had 35 years involvement in the engineering, project management, design, construction, delivery and commissioning of highway, transportation, maintenance, drainage, public health and environmental improvement works and services in both the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom.

David worked at Liverpool City Council from 1996 to 2005 where he was responsible for all Highway Authority issues in the City including major projects such as the City Centre Movement Strategy and Liverpool One Development.  David then moved to Cheshire County Council where he had responsibility for the Project Services Division. 

David started work with Warrington in 2008.  In his current role he has responsibility for transportation, engineering, environmental management, operational and public protection services delivered by the Council.  During this time major transportation projects have been delivered including Warrington West Station and the Centre Park Link.  In addition major improvements in Parks have been undertaken including the restoration of the conservatory at Walton Hall Gardens and a new stadium at Victoria Park.

Professor Steven Broomhead MBE – Chief Executive Warrington Borough Council

Steven is the Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council, a role he has performed on a part time basis since 2012. He was also the Council Chief Executive from 1997 to 2003. Professor Broomhead holds the Chair of Entrepreneurial Education at Liverpool Hope University. In May 2011 he gave his inaugural professorial lecture “Making Britain enterprising, entrepreneurial, forward wealth creating again – restoring faith to the centre stage”. In 2007 the University of Chester named their new library the ‘Broomhead Library’.

From 2003 to 2011 he was Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency with a budget of £1 billion per year and was responsible for the economic development and regeneration of the North West. The major projects included Media City UK, Chester Zoo, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool Waterfront, Capital of Culture 2008, investment in a number of Universities and the commencement of the regeneration of Barrow in Furness.

He is Chairman of Warrington & Co – economic investment organisation for Warrington and Chairman of Wire Regeneration – developing a specific part of the town for housing and employment. Steven is the Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Warrington Wolves Rugby Super League Football Club. He was its Chairman from 2009-2018. He is also the Founding Chairman of “State of Mind”, a mental health awareness campaign. Up until recently Steven has been a non- Executive Chairman of Recycling Lives, a social value driven charity/business based in Lancashire with a turnover of £150m - it supports individuals who have experienced prison/homelessness. Recycling Lives has 14 sites in prisons Steven was also a Board member of the British Metals Recycling Association.

Prior to working in local government Steven was Principal of 2 Further Education/Higher Education colleges (Durham and Warrington). He is the Vice Chair of Warrington and Vale Royal College.

He was appointed to the government’s “Libraries Task Force” as its Chairman and received an MBE in recognition of his service to public Libraries. He is also Chairman of the Data Clinic, a national data recovery centre. He is also a governor of the University of Chester and Chair of governors of a primary school in Leyland, Lancashire. Steven is also an advisor to Atkins Global Infrastructure company.

Stephen Fitzsimons – CEO Warrington Chamber of Commerce

Having graduated with an economics degree from the University of Manchester, Stephen initially worked in manufacturing for De La Rue before spending 20 years in and around economic development. This included the North West Development Agency, Make UK and Warrington & Co.

Responsible for business engagement at Warrington Council’s economic and regeneration division, he is also on secondment at the local Chamber of Commerce, supporting members with their exporting activities. Stephen’s overall objective is to help grow the Warrington economy by attracting capital investment, thereby creating new jobs and safeguarding existing ones.

Simon Foden - Senior Development Manager, Langtree

Simon is the Senior Development Manager at Langtree. Langtree forms part of the Wire Regeneration Joint Venture partnership with Warrington Borough Council, which was established to bring forward the regeneration of the Southern Gateway of the Town Centre. 

Simon is the Project Lead for the Digital Enterprise Hub which is being brought forward by Wire Regeneration as part of the WTD funding. The Digital Enterprise Hub will be incorporated within the existing St James Business Centre on Wilderspool Causeway and will be delivered to attract digital focussed companies to Warrington. The Digital Enterprise Hub will supplement wider refurbishment proposals of the St James Business Centre which are being delivered to support SME’s businesses.

Lucy Gardner - Director of Strategy, Warrington and Halton Teaching NHS Hospitals Trust

Lucy is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (WHH). 

She started her career 19 years ago as an NHS General Management Trainee, gaining a Masters degree in health and social care leadership and management. In the 19 years she has held a number of operational management roles within the NHS and subsequently, in her role at EY and most recently as Director of Strategy and Partnerships at WHH, led large scale change programmes to deliver significant financial, quality and performance benefits predominantly within healthcare. Highlights include; leading the introduction of the support time recovery worker role into mental health services; leading a £3.6m project to install the first intra-operative scanner in a paediatric setting in the UK and Europe; leading the transfer of paediatric services from an acute to a community setting; directing a project for disadvantaged pregnant teenagers in Peru; and leading the support to the merger of two large acute Trusts.

At WHH Lucy has led the development and delivery of the Trust’s strategy, as well as leading key strategic programmes, including planning for new hospitals and delivering the Halton Health Hub within Runcorn Shopping City.

Lucy is committed to developing others and to working in partnership with a wide range of organisations and individuals to not only deliver outstanding healthcare but also to enable wider regeneration.

Lucy is the lead for the Living Well Hub project within the Town Deal Programme.

Nichola Newton – Principal and CEO, Warrington and Vale Royal College

Principal and CEO of Warrington and Vale Royal College since 2015, Nichola is a skilled and determined leader in Further Education, with expansive, sectoral knowledge and professional experience spanning 29 years. Nichola is values-driven and customer-focused with a demonstrable track record of achievement.  A passionate advocate of further education and life-long learning as inclusive and transformative, Nichola has a strong belief in the development of skills as the bedrock of economic growth.

Steve Park – Director of Growth, Warrington Borough Council

Steve has worked in Local Government for 19 years in senior management positions. As Director of Growth at Warrington Borough Council, Steve overseas strategic economic development, employment and skills, place-making development, housing delivery, planning, commercial property investment, Council land & property and leisure, libraries and cultural services. Steve is a Director of Birchwood Park, and Director of Evergreen North West and Evergreen Cheshire and Warrington investment funds. As chair of the sub-regional Growth Directors, Steve overseas the strategic approach to skills development, one public estate, economic strategy and devolution. Steve sits on the Cheshire and Merseyside Health Care Partnership Board and the Council's Health and Wellbeing Board. Steve advises the board of Wire Regeneration Ltd, a place making joint venture with Langtree.

Prior to joining Local Government Steve was a Programme Director at the Home Office and prior to that had director level positions in finance and IT in the private sector, having studied accountancy at University. A lifelong St Helens Rugby League fan Steve also enjoys hillwalking and fishing

Nigel Schofield – President, Warrington Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Coventry University BA Economics
  • Rank Organisation Marketing Economist
  • Leyland Cars Market Forecasting Analyst
  • Thorn EMI Consumer Electronics Market Planning Manager
  • Manchester Airport Marketing Director
  • British Aerospace Vice President Marketing
  • Schofield Diamond Travel Managing Director and Owner
Dave Thompson – CEO Warrington Disability Partnership

Dave is the CEO and one of the founders of WDP, a user led charity founded in 1991. He is passionate about accessibility and equality. With over 40yrs experience in the VCSE sector, he has led the development of services from inception to international recognition. In 2015, he retired from a 20-year career in the NHS, 10 years as the Assistant Director of Inclusion & Partnerships, returning to the NHS in 2021 as an Associate None Executive Director at Warrington and Halton NHS Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust.

He has chaired/presented at conferences in the UK & Europe on a wide range of disability matters including inclusive design, independent living and peer led support. He has presented lectures/training to over 60,000 staff from statutory, private AND VCSE sector.

Ben Wakerley – MD Warrington’s Own Buses

Managing Director of Warrington’s Own Buses, UK Bus Commission member Confederation of Passenger Transport, Board member Warrington BID & Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Ben has a long history in the bus sector, with experience running buses and coaches across the country, most notably in Manchester, London & Warrington. Ben has won at the UK Bus Awards and Route One transport awards, both personally and with Warrington’s Own Buses picking up ‘operator of the year’.