Robert Hough

Robert was born in Urmston in 1945 and educated at William Hulme's Grammar School in Manchester; he graduated in law from Bristol University and was admitted as a solicitor in 1970.  Robert became a partner with Slater Heelis, a major firm of solicitors in Manchester, in 1974 specialising in corporate law and remained with that firm until 1989.

Robert became Chairman of the Manchester Ship Canal Company in 1987 and its Executive Chairman from 1989 to 2002; he has been a Director of Peel Holdings since June 1986 and was its Deputy Chairman from 1989 to 2009.

Over the years, Robert has been engaged in many major initiatives around Greater Manchester, including Chairman of Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002 from 1995 to 1999, subsequently becoming Vice-President of the Games and Mayor of the Games Village.  After the Games, Robert became Chairman from 2002 to 2010 of the urban regeneration company, New East Manchester, which was charged with the regeneration of East Manchester and to improve the quality of life for its communities.

Alongside these commitments, Robert served as a Governor of William Hulme's Grammar School for 11 years, a Director of Manchester Business School for 5 years and a Governor of the University of Manchester from 2005 to 2015.  In addition, he has been a Vice-President of the Manchester Grammar School Bursary Foundation Appeal and is a Patron of the Centenary Appeal of the Bury Grammar Schools.

Robert was President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the year 1994-1995 and a Board and Council member for several years.  He was a Board Member and later Chairman of the North West Regional Development Agency between 2007 and 2012.  He has shown personal support for, and been involved with, numerous Greater Manchester and North West charities over the years and is currently a Governor of The Skelton Bounty charity.

Robert was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in 1996 by the University of Salford and in the same year was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration by Manchester Metropolitan University.  In 2016, he was awarded a Medal of Honour by the University of Manchester and also became an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.

Robert served as High Sheriff of the County of Greater Manchester in 2004-2005 and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours 2015.