First Take: Timothy J Nichol Liverpool Business School, Redmonds Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool

First Take: Timothy J Nichol

Ensuring that our city continues to produces high calibre business start-ups and business minded graduates is critical.

Liverpool John Moores takes a key role in this responsibility, so when the postition of Dean at Liverpool Business School became vacant, selecting the right person to fill it was paramount. Step forward Timothy J Nichol, the new Dean of Liverpool Business School.

Timothy J Nichol, Dean of Liverpool Business Schoo
Timothy J Nichol, Dean of Liverpool Business School

Timothy’s proven track record includes many things, but we imagine that his ability to lead Newcastle Business School to the top 1 per cent of the world’s business education establishments probably caught LJMU’s attention.

Now that, Timothy has settled in to his job , we met up with him to talk about his new role, why he’s become an strong ambassador for the city and to get his ‘First Take’ on Liverpool.

Timothy, how would you describe your new position?

“I provide strategic leadership to LJMU’s business school, collaborating with other faculties, departments and partners to develop our future business leaders. You have to get students to see themselves as leaders and think about business growth, that’s the key.”

It’s a challenging role, what attracted you to it?

“Liverpool John Moores is really involved in the life of the Liverpool City Region. I was impressed by their ambition for the Business School, they wanted to reach out to broader market places and help more people. I thought we’d be a good fit and I was right.”

“Liverpool’s digital economy was also of great interest to me. I felt that LJMU could play a strong role in developing the talent Liverpool digital sector needs. Through partnerships with businesses, we’re now developing programmes to support this innovative sector and help it to grow.”

“You have to get students to see themselves as leaders, that’s the key…”

What’s your ambition for Liverpool Business School?

“There’s so much I want to achieve for the school. I want us to become even more embedded in the economic and social life of the city and to build on our global perspective and distinctive teaching and learning philosophy.

“I also want all students to experience business first hand, through placements, case studies and business practice. Students need to experience what it’s like to work in business and solve business problems. This can only really be achieved by merging business scholarships with business practice.”

How well did you know Liverpool before you moved here?

“My knowledge of the city was limited. I knew about Liverpool’s maritime heritage and its significant contribution to culture, music and football. What I didn’t know about as much was the city’s incredible renaissance. Exploring Liverpool has been a revelation.”

How so?

“For one, the sheer number of new developments that have sprung up, and continue to spring up in the city. I see this as a sign of the people’s confidence here, and their willingness to embrace change. As a result Liverpool has a city centre landscape that is comparable with any of the leading modern European cities.”

LJMU Business Schools students
LJMU Business School students

Where were your first ‘must visit’ places when you arrived in Liverpool?

“I had to visit The Albert Dock first, such a great example of 20th century regeneration. And my wife and I love Liverpool ONE, particularly the way it seamlessly fits into the rest of the City Centre.

“Since then I have fallen in love with The Museum of Liverpool and The Walker Gallery, Calderstones Park, Bold Street and its many restaurants. Also Speke Hall. I have two kids, both under four, and Speke Hall’s grounds are a terrific playground for them.”

What is it that surprises you about the city?

“The boldness of the city’s vision. I admire the way it develops and builds with self-assurance. The juxtaposition of the old and the new is fantastic. It shows that Liverpool is both proud of its heritage but also keen to add to its legacy by creating significant new buildings.”

Would you recommend starting a business in Liverpool?

“Yes. All the universities play a big part in attracting talented young people to the city, but the decision to stay here, after graduation, is down to the students themselves.

“Students who have stayed in the city tell me they love the lifestyle. It’s the kind of city that you don’t want to leave, once experienced. It’s the university’s job to get them here, but it’s the city and the people that make them want to stay.”

Liverpool Business School, interior
Liverpool Business School’s  interior

“Liverpool is also central to the rest of the UK, through road and rail and is easily accessible to the rest of the world by air, which obviously helps businesses to trade globally.  The city also has a lot of support for new business start-ups, this kind of infrastructure is incredibly important to new business start-ups.”

It is often said that the people of Liverpool are naturally entrepreneurial.

“True, Liverpool, like Newcastle, is a port-city and its character is defined by that. The city’s open to new ideas, new people. It’s naturally accepting and interested in difference. Out of that develops a character that will adapt easily, change and innovate. Nothing is more useful in business. The city’s strength in the digital economy is evidence of this.”

“Liverpool’s openness also makes it an ideal place to launch a new business venture. I’ve been struck by the number of former LJMU students who are now running successful businesses in Liverpool.

“There’s always more to do, however, and that’s where Liverpool Business School can play its part. I’m looking forward to developing programmes further and working with partners to help make Liverpool even more business-friendly than it already is. Another great rule in business; There’s always room for improvement.”

For more information on Liverpool Business School click here and follow @LJMU_LBS