Steve Fothergill


Steve Fothergill has been National Director of the Industrial Communities Alliance since its formation in 2007 and was previously Director of its largest predecessor, the Coalfield Communities Campaign. 

An economist and academic by background, since 1992 he has also been a Professor in the Centre for Regional Economic Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University.  An acknowledged expert on urban and regional development, he is author or co-author of five books and more than 200 reports and articles. 

As a lobbyist on behalf of local authorities in older industrial Britain, he has worked extensively with ministers and officials, MPs, the devolved administrations and the European Commission and Parliament.

Chris Whitwood

Research and Lobbying OFFICER

Chris Whitwood joined the Secretariat of the Industrial Communities Alliance in 2022. Prior to that he worked in design and as a primary school teacher.

He also has extensive political and communications experience, including dealings in Westminster and campaigns relating to youth work and the voluntary sector.

Philip O'Mara

Campaigns officer

Philip O’Mara has been the Campaigns Officer of the Industrial Communities Alliance since 2007 and was previously an Education Officer at Doncaster MBC.  He is responsible for the main running of the office and the accounts department. 

He is the author of one novel and formerly a trade union Branch Secretary.  He was previously the secretary of a variety of local community organisations.

Meirion Thomas


Meirion was appointed in 2023 as the Wales Director of the Industrial Communities Alliance. He was raised and educated in the South Wales Valleys, graduated from the London School of Economics and holds a Masters Degree from Cardiff University.

His career spans over 35 years as a practitioner, academic and consultant in economic development with development agencies and national and local governments across Europe, the UK and Ireland.

Meirion’s aim is to support the Alliance’s members to realise their potential as places where communities and people can build sustainable and prosperous futures.

Roddy MacDonald

Director, Alliance Scotland.

Roddy is the Scotland Director of the Industrial Communities Alliance, appointed in May 2016. He is a three-time Graduate of the University of Strathclyde, latterly with a Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Business.

He spent 30 years working in Local Government ending his service as a Chief Officer with responsibility for Community Development in South Ayrshire.

His current ambitions are to work with like-minded people to support our communities, challenge poverty in all its forms and to be an instrument of positive change.