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Manchester Central appoints new CEO

The next chief executive of Manchester Central Convention Centre has been unveiled - bringing 15 years’ experience in leading strategic growth initiatives across the UK in the events and exhibitions sector

Manchester Central Convention Centre has announced its incoming chief executive, Lori Hoinkes, boasting a wealth of 15 years’ experience in spearheading strategic growth endeavors within the events and exhibitions sector across the UK.

Hoinkes, previously serving as the chief growth officer at Montgomery Group, brings a formidable track record, having played pivotal roles in high-profile projects such as the capital’s largest regeneration initiative alongside the Mayor of London.

Scheduled to assume her new role in May, Hoinkes aims to amplify Manchester Central’s global footprint, seize market opportunities, and bolster its contribution to the city region’s dynamic economy. With a focus on harnessing the venue’s international appeal, she plans to elevate operational standards and uphold its position as an industry leader, catalyzing economic prosperity and cultural exchange for Greater Manchester and beyond.

In addition to overseeing the venue’s day-to-day operations, Hoinkes will spearhead the development of the new Junction restaurant, cafe, bar, and social workspace, slated to open later this year. Manchester Central, a cornerstone of the national and international events scene, hosts nearly half a million visitors annually and injects £150 million into the regional economy.

She said: “I am thrilled to be stepping into the position to lead Manchester Central, a venue with a storied history and a bright future. My immediate goal is to build on the solid foundation laid by my predecessor, ensuring a smooth transition that maintains our commitment to excellence in hosting world-class events. 

“We are at a critical juncture as we look to not only continue welcoming visitors from across the globe but also to innovate and set new benchmarks for the industry. I am eager to work with the team, our partners, and the community to propel Manchester Central to even greater heights.”

Buoyed by record-breaking financial performance in the preceding year and buoyant global interest in the region, the venue anticipates a robust year ahead under Hoinkes’ stewardship. Her appointment follows the departure of Shaun Hinds, who served as chief executive for seven years and has transitioned to the role of chief executive at Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire.

Councillor John Hacking, Manchester Central board director, said: “We have been impressed by Lori’s experience and tenacity and look forward to welcoming her as she takes the helm at Manchester Central. Her ability to lead teams through periods of significant growth and change is exemplary, making her an ideal leader for the venue as it continues to evolve and adapt in an ever-changing global landscape.

“With the global spotlight firmly on Greater Manchester, the city-region is firmly positioning itself as a national leader in economic growth and incoming investment, and the year ahead is an extremely exciting time for the venue. Our forecasts predict over half a million visitors and an upsurge in events, once again showcasing Manchester Central as a leading venue on the global events stage.”

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