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Meet the team

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive

neil mcinroy headshotNeil has been involved in public sector policy and delivery for over 20 years. Whilst having experience in developing partnerships and innovative policy responses to global, regional and local economic, social and environmental challenges, his particular skills are in local economic and social research, analysis and development; policy practice, research methodologies; facilitation and strategy building. He regularly conducts work across UK and in locations around the world. A leading commentator on economic development and public policy, Neil has featured in Local Government Chronicle’s annual top 50 most influential people in local government. He is chair of the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the University Of Manchester. Neil became chief executive of CLES in 2003.

Matthew Jackson, Deputy Chief Executive

Matthew Jackson headshotAn experienced and skilled researcher, Matthew has worked in regeneration, local economic development and local governance for almost a decade. He leads CLES’ work on procurement and specialises in analysing and interpreting public policy and examining the local economic and social impact of public interventions. Recent projects include LM3 studies for the London Borough of Lambeth and City Hospital, Birmingham and research into the role and value of local authority assets. Matthew is involved in all aspects of CLES activities including membership, training, policy research, policy advice and consultancy. Matthew joined CLES in April 2005, prior to which he worked in an academic research centre.

Adrian Nolan, Associate Director

Adrian Nolan headshotAdrian is an experienced researcher specialising in socio-economic trends and their implications for policymakers and leads CLES’ ongoing place resilience programme. He has delivered a range of projects for public and private sector clients and has an in-depth knowledge local, regional and national economic development strategy and policy. Adrian recently managed the Enterprising Bradford Evaluation, which assessed a number of ERDF funded regeneration projects, and an evaluation of measures to enhance the labour market competitiveness of long-term unemployed residents in deprived areas of Manchester. He joined CLES as a senior policy consultant in July 2009.

Jennifer Rouse, Policy Consultant

jennifer Rouse headshotJenny works as a Policy Consultant at CLES. She joined in 2014 from NEF Consulting (the New Economics Foundation). Jenny has extensive expertise in designing strategy and measurement frameworks intended to improve social value. She is a highly-regarded trainer and facilitator, and manages CLES’ training programme. Her professional interests include ground-up projects and campaigns; co-production; using local economic development matters as a tool to explore wider systemic issues; and collaboration between organisations to maximise positive outcomes. Prior to NEF, Jenny worked in international development both in the U.K. and overseas. She holds a 1st class degree and PhD in Psychology.

New Start staff 

Clare Goff, Editor

Clare Goff headshotClare Goff is editor of New Start, the digital magazine for making better places. She joined New Start in 2008 and took over as editor in 2012. She oversaw the relaunch of the New Start website as a standalone publication in 2013. She has been a journalist for 15 years and starting out writing about the media industry before shifting her focus to social issues, working as a freelance for the Financial Times, New Internationalist, the Independent and the Guardian before joining New Start.


Administrative staff

Laura Symonds, Office Manager

Laura3Laura joined CLES in April 2008. She manages all aspects of the general running of the office including finance, operations duties and HR. She also coordinates with the membership base and runs the events programme.

NewStart - The magazine for creating better places
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