Sir Howard Bernstein, the former chief executive of Manchester City Council, has died at the age of 71.

Sir Howard along with former Council leader Sir Richard Leese drove the evolution of the city and the successful 2002 Commonwealth Games bid.

Born in Cheetham Hill in 1953,Sir Howard rose from being a town hall clerk in 1971 to chief executive, a role he held from 1998 until 2017.

Throughout his career he has led a range of regeneration based activities- including the reconstruction of the City Centre following the terrorist bomb in 1996, the developments associated with the hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games including what is now the Etihad Campus, a range of major commercial, transport and cultural developments including Spinningfields, the advent and then expansion of Metrolink, the Bridgewater Hall, Home, the Manchester Conference Centre, the City Art Gallery and now the Factory which is part of the St John’s development.

He also led negotiations for the historic Devolution deal between Greater Manchester and the Government which included health and social care.

He was knighted for his services to Manchester in 2003.

He was married to Lady Vanessa Bernstein,brother to Russell, a loving father to Jonathan and Natalie, and a devoted stepfather to Danielle, Francesca, and Dominique.

Sir Howard was also a proud grandfather to seven grandchildren.

A lifelong supporter of Manchester City FC, Sir Howard served as its Honorary President. He was also the president of Lancashire Cricket for a decade, and after retiring from public life, he became an Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester.

Tributes have already been pouring in

Former Chsncellor George Osbourne wrote on X

“So sad Howard Bernstein has died – one of the towering public servants of the last 50 yrs – the father of modern Manchester and my partner on the Northern Powerhouse. He showed everyone else what creative local government working with business can achieve”

“Sad day for Mcr. Howard was a great public servant,he had the vision and ability to bring different stakeholders together to deliver for Manchester. It was a privilege to work with him. My thoughts and prayers with his family.” said former Deputy Leader of Manchester Council Lufthar Rahman

The leader of Oldham Council Arooj Shah described him as someone who truly shaped the city into the powerhouse it is today and someone who epitomised public service.

Manchester City in a statement said

“Sir Howard’s contribution and dedication to the development and regeneration of Manchester was remarkable, and his passion for our football club was clear for all to see.“

Councillor Pat Karney wrote on X

He traveled the world to bring investment to Manchester.Graham Stringer and myself looked on in awe as he prepared the Olympic Bid in Monte Carlo.
In Bermuda he prepared the bid to the Commonwealth Games Committee
It was always for Manchester and its residents.Thank you Howard”

Manchester’s Nighttime Czar Sasha Lord said

“Without doubt in my mind, the most important figure to spearhead Manchesters renaissance.A true Manchester legend.”

More follows ……


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here