Top local government director joins NIACE

29th April 2013

Tom Stannard, Director of Policy and Communications at Blackburn with Darwen Council, has been appointed to the new national role of NIACE Director of Communications and Public Affairs.


Tom joins NIACE from a 15-year track record in UK local government. He is a prominent national figure, recently voted amongst the Local Government Chronicle’s most influential in UK Local Government, and holds Board-level advisory roles at the Guardian and SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives).


Blackburn with Darwen is widely regarded amongst the most innovative and highest performing Councils in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, winning ‘Council of the Year’ in 2011. As a key member of the Blackburn Corporate Management Team, Tom is a CIPR-accredited reputation management expert, he established the UK’s first fully integrated shared service for communications and reputation management between local government and the NHS, and has led on strategic partnerships and the Council’s award-winning ‘Your Call’ behaviour change campaign.


David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:


“The Director of Communications and Public Affairs will have a pivotal role in developing the relationships, communications, focus on impact, programmes of work, funding and the culture which will secure NIACE’s success. It is vital that adults of all ages and learning stages, no matter where they live, get the opportunities they both need and want to progress in life – both economically and socially. Tom has a wealth of experience, expertise and dynamism that will be crucial to this new role. We are very much looking forward to working with him as he leads and enhances our partnerships, communications and public affairs work across the country.”


Tom Stannard, said:


“I am delighted to have been offered this significant national role with NIACE. The opportunity to work with the new NIACE Board, its staff and supporters was too good to resist. NIACE’s mission is central to tackling disadvantage and to securing sustainable, equitable growth for the UK economy. I am very excited about playing a central role in delivering that vision.


“As new Director my vision will be to strengthen and diversify our partnerships, further improve our reputation and brand, and to clearly demonstrate the tremendous impact NIACE’s work has on the lives, well-being and economic prosperity of people across the UK.”


Tom Stannard takes up his new role on Monday 20 May, at the start of NIACE’s Adult Learners’ Week 2013 – the UK-wide celebration of learning, emulated and supported in 55 nations across the world.