THREE of the country’s leading figures will help shape the future of the University of Bolton.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Ryder, Lord Justice of Appeal, is beginning his three-year term of office as the university’s new chancellor.

Right Rev Bishop Nigel McCulloch is the university’s new chairman of governors and Professor William Morris will succeed Bishop McCulloch as the new deputy chairman of governors.

Sir Ernest Ryder, one of the country’s leading judges, succeeds Baroness Morris of Bolton.

He was born and raised locally and educated at Bolton School.

He graduated from the Cambridge University and has been a judge of the High Court of Justice (Family Division) since 2004.

Sir Ernest has also been elevated to the Court of Appeal and appointed Lord Justice of Appeal.

He will act as the principal figurehead and ambassador for the university.

Sir Ernest said: “I aim to represent the aspirations of the university on a public stage and engage with people.

“I will advocate opportunities and access to education and continue to promote high quality governance and the university’s drive towards outstanding provision.”

Bishop McCulloch replaces Ms Marianne Neville-Rolfe, who retired in late 2013 after nearly 10 years.

In 2013, he was honoured with a knighthood by the Queen and named a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order — the first Bishop of Manchester to be knighted.

He said: “The board of governors has set the university’s long-term strategic vision to maintain and improve the quality of teaching and course credentials, keep the university sustainable and attractive to students and to target influential people.

“Essentially, the key role of the chairman is to facilitate and the strategic vision will be my priority.”

Prof Morris was the Resident Judge of Bolton Crown Court.

The University of Bolton dedicated its new £100,000 Moot Law Court to him.

He said: “How many people from the town know about the fantastic facilities at the university? Building and developing lasting relationships with the Bolton society at large is a major priority for the university and me.”

Vice chancellor Professor George Holmes added: “These changes represent a significant step for the university.

“The wealth of experience and knowledge these distinguished individuals have amassed in their respective academic and professional careers can only benefit the university.

“Their continuing work with the university and within the community is testament to their dedication to serving Bolton.”