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HOST senior leadership team and key figures at HOST MediaCity

Steven Fry

Director of Customer and Digital Services at Salford City Council

Steven Fry is the Director of Customer and Digital Services at Salford City Council and one of the top 100 leading CIO’s in the country and has been for the last 3 years. Supporting the directly elected City Mayor delivering local public services and improving the lives of our fast growing and diverse 260,000 population, leading a department with over 400 staff, a net revenue budget of £30M and a capital investment programme of £2M p/a.

An experience senior leader with a demonstrated history of working in the government industry. Skilled in Service Delivery, Organisational redesign, regional Government, Digital, Business Transformation.

Matt Wall

Technology and Architecture Lead - Salford City Council

Matt Wall is a seasoned digital professional passionate about leveraging technology to drive business growth and impactful outcomes for residents of Salford. With well over a decade of experience in the local government digital industry, Matt has honed his expertise in various aspects of digital strategy, including end-user experience, customer first, on-premise and cloud-based services and technology accelerations, to name a few.

Throughout his career, Matt has worked with a diverse range of clients and partners, from SMEs to large enterprises, Health, Police, charities, and central government, helping them achieve their and Salford City Councils objectives. He has a proven track record of developing and executing successful digital projects and workstreams. Some of the latter was achieved through his role as CTO at Home of Skills and Technology located within MediaCityUK

Mat Ainsworth

Director of Skills, Work & Inclusive Economy. Salford City Council.

Mat joined the Council in July 2022 to lead the city’s work to create a more inclusive labour market and capitalise on the city’s economic vitality so that more Salford residents are able to access the benefits of growth; and more employers are better able to access the skills they need to continue that growth.

Mat has spent over 20 years working in the public sector across local, sub-regional and national government, with a focus on regeneration, economic development, education, skills and work.

David Mills

Strategic Finance Manager, Salford City Council

David manages the finance teams that support the two Directorates of Place and Resources & Transformation within Salford City Council. This includes a specialist commercial finance team that work alongside the many projects and developments throughout the city.

David’s professional background is in commercial finance, change management & business transformation, corporate governance, and executive operational management. His passion is the development of people through skills, training, mentoring and coaching; with a particular focus on those young people with poor employment outcomes.

Roxana Lawton

Director of Innovation Programmes & HOST

She holds an MBA and is a Chartered Manager of the Charted Managers Institution, a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, PG Certificate in Academic Practice and, a BA Hons in Religions and Theology.

IN4 Group is an award-winning technology group that specialises in driving prosperity for businesses and communities. Through its programmes and services, the Group delivers educational enrichment that leads to economic empowerment. It operates several brands including Skills City, one of the country's largest digital Skills Bootcamps operations; Gametech, which includes esports, Unity and Unreal Engine; and the North West contract with CyberFirst Schools & Colleges. IN4 operates HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, one of the North West’s most established innovation hubs, based at MediaCity, formerly The Landing. It offers innovation services, training and facilities including the UK’s first Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) lab with Vodafone, and support for people and businesses alike, from start-ups and SMEs to enterprises and the public sector. This includes the pioneering FreelanceHER 100 programme which supports female tech entrepreneurs.

Darren O'Brien

Director of Ecosystems and Communities HOST MediaCity

Darren, Director of Ecosystems and Communities here at HOST. He joined The IN4 Group from Barclays Bank which spanned a 20-year career working in different functions across the organisation.

Darren started his career as a junior cashier and worked his way through the departments within the branch network which included, sales, operations and then management and leadership.

Over the past 7 years he was responsible for 3 different Barclays Eagle Labs across Greater Manchester in both Salford & Manchester. More recently the Greater Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH).  During his time at DiSH I was responsible for engaging and mobilizing the Cyber GM ecosystem

During his time at Barclays, he was fortunate to work with, and lead some truly outstanding individuals and more recently obtained a degree through Angia Ruskin University, Cambridge in Business Management & Leadership

Laura Cleverley

HOST Community Manager

Laura has been part of the IN4 team since 2020, working across multiple divisions.  Starting initially, as Executive Assistant to our CEO, Mo Isap, then progressing into Skills City as Client Manager, in April 2023. 

Earlier this year, Laura transitioned to HOST Community Manager. Within this role, Laura is dedicated to community engagement, business development, and works closely with our members and tenants to support their business growth.

Prior to working at IN4, Laura ran her own business for several years, and this, coupled with her extensive knowledge of the business, makes her a fantastic support to our members and tenants. Laura is passionate about building relationships, and building a community that thrives off collaboration and innovation. 

Anthony Hatton

Innovation Programme Director at MITIH

Anthony leads the MediaCity Immersive Technology Innovation Hub programme, MITIH (, one of ten projects funded by the Greater Manchester Innovation Accelerator programme. He works with public and private sector partners to develop the innovation ecosystem across MediaCity, the Salford Innovation Triangle and Greater Manchester.

Since 2008, his experience has spanned local and national policy, projects and programmes in energy, infrastructure, environment and placemaking in the private, public and third sector. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as management consultant in Accenture across UK, Europe, and Australasia.


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