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IED tribute to past Patron Sir Howard Bernstein


The IED was deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Sir Howard Bernstein. Sir Howard was a remarkable leader in economic development and regeneration and as Chief Executive of Manchester City Council was instrumental in changing the fortunes of the City and leading the regeneration which has underpinned its growth. After his retirement, Sir Howard became Patron of the Institute of Economic Development from 2017-2020.

Amongst his many achievements are leading the efforts to reimagine Manchester City Centre after the IRA bomb which partly destroyed the Arndale Centre, and overseeing the regeneration of New East Manchester as part of the work for the City to host the Commonwealth Games. As Patron of the IED, Sir Howard provided frequent insights to members and spoke at our Annual Conferences. His leadership and insights demonstrated that regeneration needs more than a vision and a plan; it needs a high-performing team and influence to continue to deal with the barriers and challenges that regeneration schemes face. Sir Howard alongside many brilliant leaders, past and present in Greater Manchester, became the leadership team that changed the City and dealt with those challenges.

Tom Stannard, Chair of the IED said, ‘Sir Howard laid the foundations for the creation of the Manchester City Region and everything that has been achieved since through the leading devolution deals that the City has achieved with Government. There is a sense of loss within all aspects of the economic development and regeneration communities of the City Region. We were privileged to enjoy a number of years with him as our Patron and he will be widely remembered amongst our membership as one of the best in our profession.  Our warmest thoughts and condolences are with his close family and friends.  Rest in Peace’

Nigel Wilcock, Executive Director of the IED, said, ‘Sir Howard was an important contributor to economic development professionals both in his work generally but also as Patron of the IED. He was a shrewd and visionary leader and undertook all of his work with an understanding of the need of the communities across the City.’