Howard Bernstein

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Not to be confused with Howie B.
Howard Bernstein at MIPIM 2012.

Sir Howard Bernstein is the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council at Manchester Town Hall. Originally joining the Council as a junior clerk, he became the Chief Executive in 1998, responsible for encouraging and helping investment in the city. The Chief Executive position is apolitical to demonstrate a willingness to work with any political party in national government.[1]


Before appointment as Chief Executive, Bernstein championed the Manchester Metrolink system. The system became the first light-rail network to be built in a British city for over a century when it opened in the early 1990s.[2]

Bernstein has also supported the creation of new areas and buildings such as the Bridgewater Hall, the Manchester Velodrome, the Manchester Arena, the City of Manchester Stadium and the Sportcity district in east Manchester which is still growing. He was involved in the establishment of the Manchester Airports Group in the mid-1980s and has driven the expansion of the company. The Group is now the largest British owned airports group in the UK, owning four airports.

Bernstein's appointment followed the 1996 Manchester bombing which severely damaged much of the city centre and extensive reconstruction ensued. Following the terrorist bombing of the City Centre in 1996, he was appointed Chief Executive of Manchester Millennium Limited, the public/private sector Task Force set up by the Government and the City Council to oversee the redesign and rebuilding of the City Centre, a task which successfully delivered areas such as Piccadilly Gardens, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, Urbis on time and on budget.[3]

In 2003, Manchester City Council under Bernstein's civic leadership won the RIBA Client of the Year for various projects such the City of Manchester Stadium and Urbis - the only a time a local government authority has won the award.[4]


Bernstein has a number of honorary degrees, including UMIST in 2003, Manchester University in 2004, Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005. Sir Howard was knighted for his services to Manchester in the New Year’s Honours 2003 following the successful hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.[5] He was a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body responsible for the delivery of venues in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.


  1. ^ "Osborne doffs his cap to the worker bees of the North". The Daily Telegraph. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  2. ^ "The voice of authority: five minutes with Sir Howard Bernstein". The Guardian. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Sir Howard Bernstein". Policy Review. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  4. ^ "Manchester City Council". Architects Journal. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  5. ^ "Sport's New Year Honours". BBC News. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 

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