New Chair of our board

30 September, 2020


We have appointed Jim Battle as chair of our board following his three-year position as vice chair.

Jim will replace Grainne Heselwood, who departs after being chair of the organisation’s board since 2015.

Grainne took over as board chair when we became an Independent Register Provider and has led the us through a five-year programme agreed with the council to deliver on the housing stock transfer promises.

Grainne said, “I have a fundamental belief in housing, and after more than 30 years of working in the industry, I have had the privilege of watching a small sector grow into what it is today – not only a solution to the housing problem, but a solution for lots of challenges we are facing in society. I had a distinct vision of governance at Salix Homes. I wanted it to be modernised, skill based and effective in order to drive us forward.”

Grainne has played a key part in the implementation of the innovative Customer Committee at the housing association which launched earlier this year. The committee saw 12 customers appointed to the new committee, to sit alongside the Board, with unfettered access to make positive changes to benefit us and our customers and communities.

Grainne continued, “I have enjoyed every moment at Salix Homes and I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved. We have become a resilient, strong, and resourceful organisation and it now feels like the right time for me to pass the baton over to Jim Battle. I’ll be watching Salix Homes and its work enthusiastically from a distance.”

Lee Sugden, CEO of Salix Homes, said “I would like to thank Grainne for her leadership and support over the last five years, her focus and determination to achieve the best for both Salix Homes and the people of Salford has been unwavering. A champion of social housing Grainne has led Salix from a new organisation in 2015 to the respected voice it is today. Her Salix legacy sees our customers placed at the heart of decision making and an organisation that is perfectly placed for its next chapter.”

New chair, Jim Battle, has previously been GM Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council and also was the Head of the Northern Regions for the National Housing Federation.  

Jim said, “I would like to thank Grainne for all of the work she’s done to help Salix Homes become the strong, independent housing provider it is today, not only widely recognised regionally but also nationally for its positive work in housing.”

Jim continued, “It’s an honour and a privilege to take over as Chair for such a strong and robust organisation. We have a good strong customer base, dedicated and highly professional staff, an enthusiastic committee and a board with the experience and knowledge to meet all of the challenges that the future throws at us.”

Over the years Jim has also served as Chair on the Greater Manchester Mental Health Partnership Board and the GM Domestic Abuse Partnership, as well as being a Chair of School Governors and The Wise Owl trust.

Lee Sugden, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jim Battle as our new Chair of the Board at Salix Homes. He has been a fantastic Vice Chair over the last three years, and we look forward to working with him closer to elevate existing plans and come up with new ideas to benefit the business and our customers.”

Jim Battle officially took over the role at our AGM  on the 29 September.


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