Burnley Calico Group appoints new chairman

Burnley Calico Group has named Phil Watson CBE as its new chairman.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 7:00 am
Calico Group chairman Phil Watson

Mr Watson, who has been a member of the group board since 2018, has extensive experience in senior non-executive and executive roles, having previously been an independent chair in the health and education sectors.

He is a former chair of governors at Blackburn College and was chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, during which time he transferred its c8000 council houses to a housing association.

Mr Watson's experience as a Chartered Architect and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing was put to good use as he designed several thousand new and improved homes for Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Until recently, he was also the independent chair of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups, following a similar role in Greater Manchester.

The appointment follows former chair of the board, Lesley Burrows, stepping down after almost decade in the role and making many significant, positive changes within the Group.

Mr Watson said: “I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to become group chair, working with my experienced and committed fellow directors.

"Since joining the board, I have been immensely impressed with the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of the staff at all levels, skillfully led by Anthony, which has been so important, particularly in present circumstances.

“Calico is a value-based organisation and, whilst the group has at its core a housing association, it has developed a range of socially aware services for the benefit of Burnley residents and beyond. Much of our success to date is down to Lesley's leadership and influence; she will be missed and a very hard act to follow.”

Anthony Duerden, chief executive of The Calico Group said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Phil into his new role. His wealth of previous experience and professional achievements are an asset to the board and I’m looking forward to working together to grow the company and make a real difference to those in our communities.”