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Newbury BID
The not-for-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand
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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.

BID Board Directors

Warwick Heskins, BID Chair

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.

Richard Farley, Deputy Chair

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.

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.

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 (Non-Exec)

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.

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.

Arif Goksel

My name is Arif Goksel, and I have been a proud resident of Newbury for over a decade. I bring with me a wealth of experience from my time at Vodafone, where I collaborated with various teams and worked on numerous projects since 2012. Currently, I am managing two well-regarded establishments in town: The Sushi Maki and Chego’s.

In addition to my professional pursuits, I have made several investments in Newbury, including residential and commercial properties. I wholeheartedly believe that Newbury is an exceptional place to live and am eager to contribute to its continuous growth and development.

As a member of the BID, I am determined to make a positive impact and help shape the future of our vibrant community. I look forward to working together to ensure Newbury remains a thriving and prosperous place for all.

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Jo Wakeman

Jo has been recently appointed General Manager of Camp Hopson Department Store in Northbrook Street, part of the Morley’s Group.

She has over 25 years’ experience in retail management, including several years in London Oxford Street. Prior to joining Camp Hopson Jo was an area manager for a fashion brand with 28 stores across the South of England.

Jo has worked closely with BID partnerships in Winchester before, and is passionate about Newbury and looking forward to working with the BID team to continually evolve and strengthen the local businesses in our community.

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