Sir Richard Leese was elected to Manchester City Council in 1984 and after six years as deputy leader, became its leader in May 1996.
Sir Richard oversaw the development of a major sports and events strategy including 2002’s successful Commonwealth Games, the largest multi-sports event ever hosted in the UK which put the city in the international spotlight and acted as a major catalyst to the regeneration of east Manchester and 2007’s first Manchester International Festival.
The regeneration of North, South and Central Manchester and Wythenshawe have also made considerable strides, with the city pioneering the development of strategic regeneration frameworks making crucial links between economic, social and physical improvements.
He was knighted for his services to local government in 2006. He is Deputy Leader of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and vice-chairman of the Manchester Knowledge Capital Initiative. Sir Richard is also a member of the Executive of Eurocities, the network of more than 120 top European cities, and served as its President from 2004-2006.