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MEET THE BID BOARD

Board Members and Company Directors are volunteers from the local business community who play an essential role in providing feedback from and to the sector they represent, as well as being positive ambassadors for the BID. In addition, the Company Directors have overall responsibility for Governance, Finance, Health & Safety, and Legal Matters.

The Board allows for representation from each key stakeholder organisation, representatives from voluntary stakeholder organisations, a community representative, and representatives from a range of sectors within the BID levy-paying business community.

Ian Batho

Ian Batho is currently landlord of Newbury's, indeed, West Berkshire's first Micro Pub and is happily married with two children and three grandchildren. He moved to Newbury in 1988 after starting work in the area as a newsagent. After 30 years of 4am starts, Ian felt the time was right for a change and became Landlord of The Woodpecker Public House at Washwater. In 2014 the opportunity presented itself to open a Micro Pub in Inches Yard, which has seen visitors from all over the UK.

Ian believes that small businesses are the backbone of the economy and by working together with Newbury BID, they can help each other to be successful. Outside of work Ian loves spending time with friends and family and helping his wife on her allotment.

Alastair Chapman

Alastair is the Branch Manager of A-Plan Insurance in Northbrook Street.

More to follow...

Harriet Collins

Harriet is Marcomms and Sponsorship Director at Newbury Racecourse and is very passionate about attracting new audiences to come and experience all that the racecourse has to offer, including its 29 racedays and all the events and experiences on non-racedays across the year.

Prior to working at Newbury Racecourse, she has worked in senior Marketing and Communication roles across a range of sports, with particular focus on British horseracing, which also included two fascinating years working in the US in Lexington, Kentucky.

The BID is an important aspect of the racecourse’s commitment to its local community and in partnership with all the local businesses, Harriet believes there is scope to grow Newbury town as a destination for new visitors and she is very proud to represent the racecourse.

Outside of work, Harriet is a keen horse rider and during the summer months enjoys paddle-boarding on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Martin Colston

Martin is the Leader of Newbury Town Council. Martin strongly believes that we can achieve more together through partnerships and collaboration than we can alone, and sees his role as a BID Board member to help enable close co-operation and support between Newbury Town Council and the BID.

Martin has lived in Newbury for 30 years and is a self-employed market researcher and business consultant.

Martin is a keen cyclist and triathlete and can be seen riding or running around West Berkshire in the colours of Newbury Velo CC and Team Kennet. He is a long-standing member of the Sing for Fun community choir in Newbury.

Sebastian Court

Sebastian Court is the Local Business Manager for Metro Bank in Newbury, and joined the Bank in August 2017.

Prior to his appointment, Sebastian had worked for Santander in a variety of roles for 15 years, and Lloyds Bank for 3 years after joining them as a cashier straight from college.

Sebastian is very passionate about customer service, as well as connecting people within the local community and feels the BID does an amazing job in helping local businesses prosper within the Newbury area.

Outside of work, he has always been a keen sports fan and played football and cricket both at county level and for his home town of Fairford, and you’ll now find him either on the golf course, or nowadays watching football and rugby.

Fiona Crooks Smith

Fiona is the owner of independent shop Rainbows in Inches Yard.

More to follow...

Ross Drake

Ross is the owner and franchisee of the McDonald's restaurant on Northbrook Street in Newbury town centre.

Prior to setting up this business he worked in senior Marketing and General Management roles for a range of large blue chip companies including Mars, Coca-Cola and Royal Mail.

Ross is passionate about the BID and its work to make Newbury more successful. Local businesses working together will have a much bigger impact than any single business could ever achieve and by making Newbury more successful we will help our own businesses to be more successful.

Outside of work his is a big Rugby Union fan, although sadly no longer playing he will often be found watching local clubs as well as cheering on England and the Lions.

Richard Farley

Richard is the Centre Manager of the Kennet Shopping Centre and has been involved in the scheme in some form since 1997. Before taking the reins of the centre in April 2019, Richard was the Operations Manager, Service Manager and Security Officer at the centre having progressed through the ranks since he was 18 years old. He also managed 15 different facility teams in shopping centres, offices and retail parks across the country from Plymouth to Leicester to Kent, including of course, the Kennet Centre.

A keen board member since June 2019, Richard wanted to be part of the larger community business wise, having been a resident since his teenage years, and make a difference with the different sectors working together for the town.

In his spare time Richard can be seen on the stands of Madejski Stadium supporting Reading FC and is a very keen follower of Formula One.

Lindsey Finch

Superintendent Lindsey Finch is the Local Police Area Commander for West Berkshire within Thames Valley Police.

More to follow...

Warwick Heskins

Warwick is the Director of West Berkshire Pub Company Limited which runs The Catherine Wheel in Cheap Street and more recently The Spare Wheel in Market Place. He has 11 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.

Prior to this Warwick spent 21 years working in the corporate head offices of BT then o2/Telefonica as a buyer and Senior Internal Auditor.

Since Warwick opened the Catherine Wheel in 2014 the pub has gone from strength to strength allowing him to open an additional venue ‘The Spare Wheel' in Market Place in 2020.

Warwick has worked closely with the BID in the past and, in his new role on the board, looks forward to working with the new Newbury BiD team to help develop Newbury town centre during this difficult period, and out the other side, especially ensuring independents have their voices heard.

Outside of work Warwick is a Reading FC season ticket holder and enjoys playing 5-a-side football when time allows.

Valarie Jerome

Dr Valarie Jerome is the owner of Valarie Jerome Optometrists, Newbury’s newest independent opticians. Originally from Georgia in the US, Valarie moved to Newbury in 2009.

Dr Jerome has served for many years on the Association of Optometrists Council where she represents optometrists in the South East of England. In 2020, her business was recognised as one of the Top 100 UK Small Businesses of 2020 by Small Business Saturday UK. In 2021, Dr Jerome was named in the Top 100 UK Female Entrepreneurs by f:Entrepreneur. Valarie is passionate about her profession and independent business ownership.

When not with patients, she enjoys yoga and spending time with her family, dogs and cat.

Valarie is an active member of the Newbury BID and enjoys engaging with other local businesses.

Tejo Kaur

Tejo is the owner of Newbury Lighthouse Day Nursery in Northcroft Lane.

More to follow...

Graeme Leech

Graeme had a successful career working in the Property industry before setting up a local Letting Agency with his wife in 2007, selling it in 2017. Graeme is a fantastic source of knowledge and advice for others who feel they need some guidance, from start-ups to more established businesses looking to grow. Graeme also sold his Residential Block Management business in 2018. Having sold two Property businesses, he is also able to provide guidance to those who are considering the sale of similar businesses either now or in the future.

Graeme is honoured to be President of WB Mencap and he also works with Step by Step, WB children services, supporting young adults. He has been a Newbury Rotarian since 2011 and became a Director of the BID in 2012, enjoying the work that the BID does to make the town an attractive place to come for both businesses and individuals alike.

Andrew Marmot

Andrew is the Centre Manager of Parkway Shopping Centre. He has worked in the shopping centre industry for well over a decade and arrived in Newbury in 2017 and fell in love with the town and the potential it offers.

He has a strong interest in enlivenment and sustainability and believes that these pillars of opportunity are a critical part the future of the retail property industry and aims to continue delivering these to Parkway.

Andrew has been a member of the BID Board since 2017, he believes that Newbury needs a strong BID to ensure it succeeds as a destination for retail, leisure and living.

Away from his shopping centre work, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family and when he can grab moments of peace and quiet loves getting lost in a good book.

Andy Murrill

Andy Murrill has been the editor of the Newbury Weekly News and newburytoday.co.uk since 2014. He was previously editor of the Reading Post for more than 15 years and his newspapers have won several national awards. He was a founding director of Reading UK CIC, the town’s economic development company, and helped establish the Reading Business Improvement District in 2005, the first successful BID vote outside London.

He was also asked by the borough council to chair the Reading 2012 Partnership Board which coordinated all Olympic and Jubilee celebrations in the town. Andy is committed to supporting local communities and businesses and played a leading role in the establishment of the Newbury West Berkshire Economic Development Company. He is also a member of the West Berkshire Suicide Prevention Action Group.

Jason Palmer

With over 30 years experience in the industry, Jason has become synonymous with premium quality hairdressing. Having worked in one of London’s most prestigious West End salons, Jason returned 15 years ago to this, his home town of Newbury, to create Jason Palmer Hairdressing, a luxurious salon with client experience being his top priority.

Jason is delighted to be a Director of the BID and the board member representing Salons. He is keen to help promote Newbury as a vibrant destination for Local, National and International visitors while creating a safe, clean and prosperous environment for Newbury’s town centre businesses.

Outside the salon, Jason has a lifelong passion for The Theatre and The Arts and can often be found in his favourite seat in the front row!

Shane Prater

Shane is a Director of Quintons who are Chartered Surveyors based on London Road.

Shane has been the Head of the Commercial side of Quintons since 1998 and deals with sales and lettings, valuations, rent reviews and lease renewals of shops, offices and warehouses in Newbury and surrounding areas.

Shane is passionate about the BID and its work to make Newbury more successful for not only local businesses but also local residents, of which he is one.

If we all embrace the BID and its work we will all benefit together.

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