Manchester legend Sir Howard Bernstein dies

Former chief executive of Manchester City Council, Sir Howard Bernstein, has died, aged 71.

Former chief executive of Manchester City Council, Sir Howard Bernstein, has died, aged 71.

The man credited with the renaissance of the city and a key architect of devolution, Sir Howard joined the council at the age of 18, retiring in 2017 after 46 years.

Current leader of Manchester, Bev Craig, said: ‘Sir Howard served Manchester with remarkable distinction. He will be remembered as a driving force in the city's turnaround from post-industrial decline to the growing, confident and forward-looking city we see today. 

‘He had boundless energy, strategic vision and a passion for Manchester. In 46 years at the council, serving as chief executive between 1998 and 2017, he played an integral role in the regeneration and economic growth of the city, from the city centre's resurgence after the 1996 IRA bomb and the 2002 Commonwealth Games and transformation of East Manchester to the creation and extension of Metrolink.  

‘He was also integral in the establishment of strong working relationships between the 10 Greater Manchester councils, culminating in the establishment of Greater Manchester Combined Authority in 2011 and a series of historic devolution agreements which transferred power and resources away from Westminster and Whitehall to our region. 

‘He leaves an incredible legacy in the transformation of the city. 

‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.'

Manchester's chief executive, Joanne Roney, added: 'Sir Howard was an outstanding public servant who devoted himself to Manchester and made an enormous contribution towards shaping the city we see today.

'It was a privilege to succeed him as chief executive of this dynamic council and forward-looking city – both of which owe a great deal to his legacy.'

Executive director of the Institute of Economic Development, Nigel Wilcock, said Sir Howard was a 'shrewd and visionary leader'.


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