Future Leaders

About Future Leaders

It has never been more important for communications professionals to have the skills and credibility necessary to win the trust of the decision makers. LGcomms’ Future Leaders programme is not only about getting communications practitioners to the top table – it is about giving them the skills to stay there and make a real difference and inform the policy directions of our organisations.

The programme is designed to give access to a variety of knowledge and experience across local government. Participants spend time learning about what is important to leaders and chief executives and understand the role communications need to play in delivering their agenda. Aimed at communications professionals with the potential to be heads of communications, Future Leaders candidates have the commitment to get involved with the network and the dedication to attend the wide variety of seminars and workshops.

The course, which has been running for over a decade, is worth around £10,000 in professional development and is offered free to councils as part of their LGcomms membership. Due to the unique nature of the learning, we only accommodate a maximum of 12 people each year.

Future Leaders 2024

A big congratulations to the following communications professionals who made it onto the 2024 Future Leaders programme.

Find out about the 2024 cohort.

More information and testimonials

Future Leaders are provided with:

  • Strategic learning and personal development
  • Networking across the country and at the highest levels
  • Knowledge and experience across local government
  • Understanding of the communications role in delivering council agenda

Previous cohorts have included:

  • Intensive academic study on the principles of communications leadership, run by Professor Paul Willis from the University of Huddersfield;
  • Quality learning with industry leaders including Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications, and David Holdstock, Director of Communications at the LGA;
  • Mentoring – as part of the programme participants are paired up with a relevant mentor from the LGcomms Executive Committee;
  • LGA peer reviews – the option to participate and experience in learning from the internal workings of other authorities;
  • Additional training opportunities – it is highly recommended that participants attend at least one of the regular LGcomms seminars on offer;
  • Academy and graduation – participants normally play an active part in the annual Public Service Communications Academy and are assigned a final team challenge to form part of their graduation.

Why should you apply?

In 2019, we caught up with David Holdstock (LGA), Polly Cziok (Hackney Council) at the Future Leaders’ graduation to hear their thoughts on the programme and why it is so beneficial for participants and their organisations.

What the participants said:

“As well as reinforcing what is best practice in public sector communications, the LGcomms Future Leaders programme is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on and develop different leadership skills and styles, which can then be used as any given situation requires, ultimately benefiting your organisation.

It’s also an opportunity to meet colleagues from across the country who are at a similar stage in their careers, and form a close network to discuss various issues and bounce around ideas. Overall it was an incredibly positive, productive and entirely worthwhile experience and one that I would whole-heartedly recommend.”

David Green, Senior Communications Officer, Brent Council

“The Future Leader’s course is hailed as one of the best development opportunities for aspiring communications heads in the public sector. It quite literally provides successful candidates with tailored support from those leading the industry.

It is highly recommended for anyone who is determined to succeed and progress as a leader in a challenging, diverse but extremely rewarding sector.”

Emma Rodgers, Strategic Manager, Stoke-on-Trent City Council