Photo: modern building

About us

Jack Stopforth MBE MA

Photo: Jack Stopforth MBE MA

Formerly CEO of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MD of Cumbria Inward Investment Agency Limited and director of Glasgow-based The BIG Partnership Group, Jack also chaired Bay TV Liverpool until its acquisition by Made TV, where he remains a shareholder. As a consultant, he worked for Southwestern Bell, Telewest, Courtaulds PLC, Peel Ports, The Duchy of Lancaster, Bunzl PLC and many others. Earlier in his career, Jack was Head of Economic development for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Chief Economic Advisor to Merseyside County Council. He was a governor of UCLAN and Liverpool John Moores University, sat on the Advisory Board of Liverpool University Management School and was council member for the University of Lancaster. Jack is a past chair of Cumbria LSC and private sector member of the LEP for Liverpool City Region. NEDs have included MSIF Limited, North West International Trade Board and Liverpool Chamber Training Limited. Currently he is chairman of Invest for Impact, which is a £5m fund to support social enterprises across the North West of England, under the auspices of First Ark Group.

Jack is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and became an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List, 2012.

John Flamson OBE DL – Senior Consultant

Photo: John Flamson OBE DL – Senior Consultant

Between 2008 and 2014, John Flamson was employed by the University of Liverpool as Director of Partnerships & Innovation. He was principal adviser on regional policy matters and strategic development to the then Vice Chancellor, Prof Sir Howard Newby, and responsible for the University’s engagement with international, political and business markets. Before joining the University of Liverpool, John held senior roles for Government Office for the North West between 2000 and 2008 serving first as European Director responsible for the region’s Eu €1.33 billion European Programme and then as a Deputy Regional Director (Strategic Business). The latter role entailed strategy development, change management, lead responsibility for a sub-region, advice to Ministers and involvement in national policy networks.

Earlier experience included a period as CEO of Wigan Borough Partnership which integrated the TEC, Chamber of Commerce, Business Link, Careers Service, local authority inward investment unit and commercial trading company.  Prior to Wigan Borough Partnership, John was the Director of Liverpool City Challenge and ran an urban regeneration initiative for part of the city centre, overseeing a £35m fund, levering in up to £200m investment, and before that was Chief Planner of Merseyside Development Corporation contributing to the waterfront transformation.

Since his early retirement from the University John has remained active as a non-executive with a variety of bodies including a Combined Authority, University public policy institute, buildings preservation trust, a national community-focused arts organisation, theatres and an environmental charity. John has a BA (Hons) Geography and is a MCD (Master of Civic Design) both awards from the University of Liverpool. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. John was awarded his OBE in 2015.

Phil Holt

Photo: Phil Holt

Phil Holt has been an advisor to public and private sector clients for over 20 years in both the consulting and corporate finance space.

At Deloitte he was the Partner in charge of the economic growth team responsible for delivering some of the most complex and challenging projects in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Phil operated at the most senior levels and his clients have included senior government officials, CEOs, public private partnerships, local authorities, and a range of private sector clients. Phil specialised in the economic development, health, education, leisure and real estate sectors. He has provided advice on governance, business strategy, operating models, PPP’s, project finance and economic analysis. His project delivery experience includes such internationally acclaimed assignments as the redevelopment of central Manchester, development of the Thames Gateway initiative, and numerous aspects of the London 2012 Olympics.

Whilst at PwC Phil largely operated in the corporate finance arena delivering some of the more complex PPP’s to have emerged in recent years. This included various PFI assignments, advising the UK Forensic Science Service on commercialisation of key aspects of its core business, the development of Media City, and devising the European Investment Bank's Urban Investment Funds. He has been recently advising UK Universities on the commercialisation of the intellectual property.

Carolyn Taylor

Photo: Carolyn Taylor

Carolyn Taylor is Taylor Stopforth’s director of communications and a co-founder of the business.

Carolyn is an experienced PR professional and an accomplished journalist. She has worked as a reporter, motoring correspondent, features editor and senior business correspondent on many local, regional and national newspapers, including the Liverpool Echo where she was Deputy Editor and Features Editor and The Birmingham Post and Mail, where she was senior business correspondent interviewing some of the most significant figures in British business.

On leaving journalism Carolyn moved into corporate communications with the NHS for a period and then to the agency world with Stopforth Bright Anderson Limited, working on a range of accounts including Telewest, Swallow Hotels, MTL, Liverpool Hope University, The Mersey Partnership and the Irish Government (Office of the Taoiseach) among many others. Carolyn then became Head of Communications for Carlisle City Council and the residents’ newsletter she and her team produced was voted by the influential “PR Week” magazine as “Business Publication of the Year” beating finalists such as Rolls Royce and Motorola.

There are few people better placed to identify, produce and place a newsworthy story for maximum impact or to help clients facing reputational risk, crises or controversy to manage their response in a way that will reassure stakeholders and minimise damage.

Nicola Birkbeck BSocSc MCIM

Photo: Nicola Birkbeck BSocSc MCIM

Nicola Birkbeck is a Bachelor of Social Science of the University of Birmingham with an upper second class Honours degree in public policy; she holds an Executive Post Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has almost twenty years’ experience in business consultancy, corporate communications and marketing.

Nicola’s experience includes an on-going consultancy contract with KPMG in Canary Wharf (since January 2017) where she works as part of the group’s Financial Services Regulatory Centre of Excellence. She has also worked for KPMG as a programme manager specialising in the UK public sector.

Throughout her career, Nicola has worked with three FTSE 100 companies, a Big Four accountancy firm, a top-ten global IT services company, a NASDAQ listed business travel company and several SMEs. These have included two periods with KPMG, six years with Capita PLC, and lengthy spells with Experian and Tata Consultancy Services, including experience with Tata in Mumbai. Nicola has a proven track record of designing, delivering and exceeding KPIs across the marketing mix of public relations, public affairs, corporate affairs and internal communications as well as managing several client-facing projects. Aside from essential technical and academic skills, Nicola is a natural communicator, able to foster positive relationships with senior stakeholders, colleagues and third-parties.

David Hughes

Photo: David Hughes

David’s senior marketing experience was gained across several sectors – information technology,  professional services, healthcare, inward investment and chemicals. Between 2005 and 2013, David worked for EC Harris, a major international built asset consultancy firm headquartered in the UK and part of Arcadis NV, with whom it merged in 2011. As  Group Marketing Manager, David led and implemented sector marketing and bid support activity across the UK and Europe for a £250 million turnover business. David also managed the internal communication process for the merger of EC Harris with ARCADIS in the UK and developed the first end to end multi-channel campaigns for the energy and environmental sectors. Working with the CBI, David led development of the  public policy report “The Next Regeneration” and whilst at EC Harris, oversaw public affairs for the group’s £80 million turnover segment covering health, central & local government, education and affordable housing and managed the group’s access to government departments and key influencers.

More recently, David led the development of a new corporate marketing strategy for Soulmatefood, devising marketing plans for innovative home delivered nutrition ranges, segmenting audiences and identifying campaign priorities to optimise sales growth. He also provided copy-writing expertise across social media channels, blogs, e-campaigns and press. Other senior marketing roles have been with GCI, Outsourcery PLC, VetPlus Limited and ICL, among others.


In addition to our senior consultants, TSCS works with specialised associates who can complement our core team by providing specialised expertise and strong local focus. These include Richard McKenna of Wallwork Curry McKenna in Boston, Massachusetts;  Sue Crawford of Sue Crawford Media in Carlisle and Louise McWatt of McWatt Jones in Merseyside. We are interested in expanding our network of consultants and associates and would be pleased to hear from experienced and qualified practitioners.