Arcadis appoints Debbie Francis as North-West City Executive

08 October 2020 2 min. read
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The North-Western wing of Arcadis has appointed Debbie Francis as its new leader. She brings over two decades of executive and board experience from across the industrial gamut, and she will now represent Arcadis on the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Originally proposed by the 2010 Coalition Government, the Northern Powerhouse scheme aims to bolster historically neglected regional economies beyond London, particularly in the "Core Cities" of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle. Chaired by former Chancellor George Osborne, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership was established to oversee the project, encouraging new policy ideas which aimed at improving the North's quality of life and economy, and promote it as a place to work, study, live and invest.

One of the founding partners of the NPP is engineering and consulting firm Arcadis, which remains committed to supporting the need for rail investment to connect Northern cities and delivering the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. Reaffirming this commitment, Arcadis has appointed Debbie Francis as its new City Executive for the North-West – a role which will see her represent Arcadis on the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Debbie Francis, North-West City Executive, Arcadis

Francis said of the role, “From Teesside to Merseyside, there are so many exciting growth and investment opportunities across the region, and with our great northern cities playing a key role in the Northern Powerhouse agenda, the potential for long term prosperity is huge… I’m really looking forward to working with the Arcadis team, clients and partners and building on these strong foundations to ensure that the benefits and opportunities from a renewed investment in the North can be fully realised right across this dynamic region.”

Alongside her work with the NPP board, as City Executive, Francis will be working with transport providers, local authority leaders and the private sector across the region to help them navigate the evolving demands of the urban environment. From the challenges of housing delivery and under-investment in the railways, to positioning cities, town and high streets for a post-Covid recovery, her focus will be on helping to shape how the region operates and the opportunities available to make it a thriving and connected place to live and do business.

In order to do this, Francis will draw on her more than 20 years of experience at executive and board level across a range of sectors, including education, health, infrastructure and utilities. She joins Arcadis from Direct Rail Services, a rail freight business where she was Managing Director for four years, and has previously led large-scale cultural and operational change initiatives for a number of organisations, including Network Rail and the infrastructure and utilities support service company, Enterprise Managed Services.