Our Voice

Posted on 15 December 2020

Calico Group Welcomes New Chair of the Board

The Calico Group has appointed a new Chair of the Board, welcoming Phil Watson CBE into the role from 11th December.

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

Phil has a wealth of relevant experience to bring to the role. 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.

Phil’s experience as a Chartered Architect (RIBA) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (FCIH) was put to good use as he designed several thousand new and improved homes for the Blackburn with Darwen Council.

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.

Phil Watson says, “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, skilfully 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.”

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