Board of Directors Strengthened as we Look Towards Town Centre Recovery

Newbury BID Board
We are delighted to announce that we have strengthened our Board of Directors and welcomed several new wider Board Members to help support the town centre’s economic recovery as we enter the final year of our current 5-year term.

Our Directors and wider Board Members are volunteers from the local business community, working together to create a thriving business environment in the town.

Warwick Heskins, Director of West Berkshire Pub Company, which runs popular hospitality venues the Catherine Wheel and The Spare Wheel, has been appointed Chair of our Board, replacing Alastair Chapman of A-Plan Insurance who has held the position for the past two years.

Warwick has 11 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and prior to this he spent 21 years working in the corporate head offices of BT then O2/Telefonica as a buyer and Senior Internal Auditor. Since opening the Catherine Wheel in 2014, the pub has gone from strength to strength, and Warwick spotted the opportunity to open an additional venue, The Spare Wheel in Market Place, in 2020.

Warwick explains,

I’ve worked closely with the BID in the past and felt that now was the right time to put myself forward as a Director to help develop Newbury town centre during this difficult period and out the other side. I am delighted to have been appointed Chair and I am especially pleased to be able to ensure that Newbury’s independents have their voices heard. The impact Covid-19 has had on local businesses is devastating and, collectively as a business community, we must work to revive Newbury as a destination for residents, visitors and tourists, and attract further business investment in the town.

Centre Manager of the Kennet Shopping Centre, Richard Farley, who has served on the wider BID Board since June 2019, has been appointed Deputy Chair. Before taking the reins of the centre in April 2019, Richard was the Operations Manager, Service Manager and Security Officer, having progressed through the ranks since he was 18 years old. He’s also managed 15 different facility teams in shopping centres, offices and retail parks across the country from Plymouth to Leicester to Kent.

Since joining the BID as a Board Member in 2019, I’ve enjoyed being part of Newbury’s large and supportive business community. I’ve been a resident of Newbury since my teenage years and it’s fantastic to see different sectors working together for the benefit of the town. As Deputy Chair, I’ll be bringing my enthusiasm and local knowledge to the table to help the BID deliver projects that will make a real difference.

West Berkshire Council’s new Economy Manager, Katharine Makant, and Jason Palmer of local independent salon Jason Palmer Hairdressing have also recently been appointed Directors, bringing many years of experience and business expertise to the Board.

These new appointments further bolster our team after a string of positive changes within the organisation over the past 12 months. The Board of Directors employ a team of four to lead and manage the projects delivered by the BID and the current team members have all joined since early 2020. We also has a wider voluntary Board of Members representing a range of different business sectors, with Valarie Jerome of Valarie Jerome Optometrists, Shane Prater of Quintons, and Ian Batho of Cow & Cask all coming on board in 2021 to strengthen the representation from local independent businesses.

Melissa Hughes, our CEO, explains,

The fact that the BID has attracted so many new volunteers from our local business community this year is testament to the desire and commitment local business leaders have to seeing Newbury recover and thrive again. There is so much energy, enthusiasm and expertise around the (virtual) table at Board Meetings, and we can’t wait to deliver a number of exciting projects as we work towards recovery.

You can find out more about Newbury BID and the work we do for Newbury here.

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